Elder Jake Parry

Elder Jake Parry
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Monday, December 22, 2014

LAST LETTER FROM PHOENIX: #perfectionpending

What a miraculous week. So basically the West Maricopa zone has had a
month baptism record of 14 for 37 months and this month, December
2014, 18 people made a covenant with God and were baptized. NEW
RECORD!!! This weekend 12 people were baptized. We are on pace to
tying the mission record, in a month in any zone, next week (19) AND,
if we see a BIG MIRACLE, we can do something no zone has done in the
Arizona Phoenix Mission before: 20 baptisms in a month. It is
definitely possible; we have some ideas. Pray that our faith is
sufficient as this next weekend comes around.

Angel was confirmed this week, interviewed, and given the Aaronic
Priesthood. It was really cool. He is a quick worker! He is excited to
share the Gospel with his family in Cuba when they meet again. La Joya
was such a blast! The two twins we baptized needed the Holy Ghost too,
but their dad is super Mexican so he is late to a lot of important
things. Bishop Menchaka was folding up the chair after Angel's
confirmation--saying that we will do the confirmations later when
their dad, Peregrino, got there--but as he was doing that, Peregrino
walked through the double doors and just soared right on up to the
stand, out of the blue. It was pretty funny. He cruised right on up
past the congregation to do those saving ordinances while finishing to
adjust his clothes. The Primary gave us very large Christmas boxes! I
got 19 toothbrushes and a bunch of stuff like that. I will probably
take a lot of it to college. This ward loves missionaries so much, it
is such a blessing to be here with them.

Well, I guess I will make a little more purpose to this letter than
most others. It has been an extremely awesome ride. I think the past
two years are much more easily described as joyful and happy rather
than fun. It has been very fulfilling; I couldn't possibly trade it
for anything. It hasn't been too tough--I'm looking forward to life's
challenges when I get back, with a little experience and a strong
foundation to build off of--but it indeed has been downright tough at
times. I have made some eternal relationships with some pretty darn
awesome people. I loved my first six weeks in Peoria--everything I
learned, everyone I met, the people that helped me--but each transfer
since has been better and better. I am looking forward to the same
kind of pattern in my life. They were probably the best two years so
far but I look forward to even more joyful times ahead.

I have learned how to apply the Atonement better to my life.
I have learned how to live the Doctrine of Christ on a daily basis.
I have learned more about myself, who I am and who I can become as I
stay strong.
I learned that I need to get my butt to the temple more (I learned
that before the mission haha).
Despite limited written and spoken communication, I feel a much
stronger love for all of my family; on both sides of the veil.
I have learned that the work is hastening and that, despite our
weaknesses, we are all needed.
I have learned that there is not a more fulfilling work than trying to
be like Christ as we serve and help all others to draw closer to him.
I have learned about the strengthening power of the Atonement and how
we can be transformed as we strive with faith, enlisting the Lord's
I haven't learned tidiness yet.
But I'm still working on that one and a bunch of others, and I will
have them down so well one day. #perfectionpending

See you Tuesday.

With much love, Elder Jacob Parry

Monday, December 15, 2014


Dearest Family,

Angel got baptized yesterday!!! He is a walking miracle of a
conversion. That man embraced the Gospel so very fast. He is our
friend from Cuba. He was one of the most prepared people I have been
able to teach on the mission, but at the same time, it took some good
skilled teaching in order to be able to let the Spirit get to him. So
he was a fun challenge. We also can't understand his thick Cuban
dialect so that was a challenge. Anyway, he will continue to grow in
the Gospel the rest of his life, and bring it back to his family in
Cuba! I thought of a part of my Patriarchal Blessing as I talk him
with Elder McCuch and imagining his family finding the gospel one day
soon too. He was a humble man last night after the baptism. Pretty
exciting times.

Speaking of exciting, last saturday we did EIGHT BAPTISMAL INTERVIEWS.
It was legit. The FAmily of 6 is good to go (and they are getting
baptized in a ward with a 4-year convert baptism drought). Next
weekend, if all 11 (and they are solid investigators) make it to their
baptisms then we will have beat the record by 3 with one week left! I
know we can do it (BTW: We were talking to Brother Gonzales about this
at Red Lobster two weeks ago and he said 'I don't want to deflate your
balloons or anything but according to the mission indicators you will
have six baptisms in December.' A few miracles have happened and we are
teaching some legit people, so we are going to break the record. I was
sharing our projected success with Elder McCuch quietly in Gospel
Principles yesterday and he whispered; "Brother Gonzales, you were wrong!"
Haha. We are on pace.) #whitechristmas

Tomorrow we have Christmas conferences. I am super excited. Our
Montana friend is paying for us all to eat at the Old Country Buffett.
Should be delicious. I will also be doing a session. That will warm me
up for the bi-weekly visits at home.

Love elder parry

PS:  The Galarza family is driving up to Utah for New Years and they said
they would take my bike!! Oh Yeah!!! They said they would drop it off
at our house haha.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Favorite Letter Yet (Becky)

Dear Family,

WOW!! This week was mind-blowing. Seriously. I will tell you why.

Monday night we got a call from the beloved Elder Bryant (Assistant)
and he said that we were going to go out for lessons with Brother John
Gonzales from the Missionary Department for the night. We frantically
called a bunch of people so we had appointments the next day for sure
haha. It was so cool though. Hermano Gonzales knows his stuff and he
really really helped us out. We were coming back from the mission home
with him and he told us to pick somewhere to eat. Elder McCuch and I
agreed on Subway. He says, "SUBWAY!!! I am going to have to veto that.
Sounds sissy." So I proclaimed on impulse; "Red Lobster!!" And he
loved the idea, so we dined like gentlemen that evening. It was a
blast. All night he was talking with us about the mission; what is
going well, what is going bad, key indicators, how the zone is doing,
how to get more baptisms, planning, and some very specific things we
could apply to our area after he was with us for the night. We
actually got quite the chastisement all night. It was very loving and
very wise counsel so we didn't take any of it as 'chastisement' as you
might think it sounds like when you read the word. He had a lot to
say. He had been a Stake President, Mission President, CIA agent, and
has worked in the Misionary Dept. It was a privilege and a very rare
opportunity to be with him. It was cool. We had a meeting with the
Mission leadership the next day. We got lovingly put on the spot for
the good and the bad the next day. It was fun. He taught us a lot
about precision planning and really using key indicators to help us
improve and set our vision high for the future. President Griffin
really wants this mission to baptize more and he is really trying to
make it happen. Things are going well in the zone and in the La Joya
ward in that aspect. This week we FINALLY figured out a problem the
ward has been having for years; the Gutierrez twins (members---kindof.
I will explain!) have been going to church with their family for 5+
years. They are 13 and were baptized, but all proof of the baptism was
lost so we are doing the baptism again. Ay ay ay. Obispo Menchaca
joked about taking a picture at their baptism with them holding a sign
up of the date the ordinance was effectuated so we would have proof
haha. So they will be baptized with Angel, our Cuban friend, this
Sunday. I am so pumped!!! Things look good. Anyway, John Gonzales, and
his friend from the Mission Dept. came and changed the face of the
mission in a one-day one 8 hour meeting. I am very sad to have come
across this training so close to the end of my service here. I asked
him what I could do to apply it after my mission and he said that a
promise was given in the Mission Dept. when PMG came out that if any
of them mastered Chapter 8 of PMG they would triple their income. I
will try to apply it.

I drove to the mission home this week with Elder Anderson from our
apartment. He has diabetes and feels real sick. It was a fun visit. I
got a temple recommend and just soaked up the time with President and
Sister Griffin. He is one hilarious President. He is so Montana. They
told funny stories of him chewing out missionaries over the phone
while Sister Griffin asked for the phone from him to say loving things
to them. An new Elder called, sad that his only sister was getting
married and he wasn't there, and President said "Quit being a sissy,
she got married, she didn't die!" It was hilarious. He is one good
mission President and he really trusts me. He is without doubt the
most honest person I have ever met. I corrected him in something minor
that I noticed through an email last week and he thanked me for it and
wished that everyone would just be honest with him because he knows he
is trying. It is cool to see the differences in PT and PG

This week was just another spectacularly awesome weeks in the books.
There is a lot going on. We are still on track to breaking the West
Maricopa baptism record this month!!!! 23 on date and we need 15 of
them to follow through. Pray for Angel and the rest of the gang this
month. OH!! And pray for Anah Toledo. We need to get her MARRIED!! SI
SE PUEDE!!! WE CAN DO IT!! We are going to pray like it all depends on
God and it would be up to us to allow him to steer her.

The very strongest I felt the Spirit this week was in zone meeting. I
was leading a discussion on faith and miracles. WOW. My sense of
"feeling" was so strong it almost overcame my sight. I felt it so
strong. We talked about how powerful our faith can be as it is coupled
with diligence to do everything we can. Miracles do happen. A lot of
the time, it is up to us. God always has final say, but we need to use
our resources and tap into his power. It is not his will that only X
number of people are baptized or found in an area or in a mission. His
will is that they are all found and baptized. We can make it happen in
our prayers and action. I have learned a lot with Elder McCuch about
communicating with God all day long through action, word, thoughts,
and deed. We can show him a lot through our plans and diligence in
carrying out the plans then through confirming all that we do with Him
through our prayers. That way He will "consecrate our performance."
Two people can do ANYTHING if one of those people is God.

Love, Elder Parry

Monday, December 1, 2014


Wuzup family!?

Thanksgiving was a blast! We got a new apartment this week and we
wanted to take advantage of the free time so we spent the first five
hours of the day carrying furniture in the truck across the apartment
complex. It was actually really efficient. The new apartment was
trashed haha. We have hardwood instead of carpet in the new place
because of the toll missionaries have put on the carpet haha. It was a
unique thanksgiving activity though for sure! We ate dinner with the
Garcia and Toledo families. They were both so awesome. The Garcias run
a sushi business so we had delicious Mexican sushi and a lot of the
Thanksgiving usuals at both places. The Toledos went all out for us four
Elders. They folded some napkins in the shapes of white shirts and
ties and they fed us full. Elder McCuch is super healthy so him
"falling hard" was fun to see. I am glad they all added you on Facebook
so you could see what we were up to!

Alexa and Sebby Toledo got baptized yesterday!!! Like always, it was a
very special experience. Anah will be next! All her friends in the
ward are working on her too, so she will get there... Once they are
married!!!! Ay caray. It was so sweet though. Sebby might have ADD and
he is crazy. So things are always interesting. When he got in the
water he was freaking out about how cold it was. It was funny. Alexa
is very spiritual so she really took the cold water strongly. It was
special for the whole Toledo family and Elder McCuch and I have known
them the whole time we have been together so it was sweet. I told
Elder McCuch that it is great that we can draw so close to such a cool
family like theirs, but it is even cooler to do it with a companion
you like. And I really think I have drawn closer to him as we have
enjoyed so much with other families since we got together. He is a
good man.

I was reading a lot of family history this week! I was listening to
the David Archuleta Christmas album and it brought the Spirit into the
apartment really strong. It sparked a bunch of interest so I read the
stuff Dad sent about Alvarus Hanks and John Parry. It was so neat! If
we just take some effort to learn from and about our ancestors then we
would all see and feel the purpose! The Spirit of Elijah is strong. I
was inspired by not just the stories of achievement and adventure, but
also of their personalities, attributes, and every day behaviors that
made them the people that they were. It was fun to hear about the
hand-waving tradition of Grandma and Grandpa Parry when we leave their
place has lived on. Alvarus was a lot like Grandpa Davis from what the
stories read. John's story is inspiring too. I liked reading about
(his sister?) who, on her deathbead, told John and someone else about
how their religion was a joke and that it couldn't save them! Haha.
Great stories. Thanks for being so on top of the family history

That package was SO AWESOME! I do declare it was the best package of
my mission. Thank you very much. I am going to be enjoying it all
month long. It will be a lot of fun for the members and investigators
I have been working with. I have already given out 5 ties to them. I
have plenty more!

Love, Elder Parry

Monday, November 24, 2014

100 New Investigators

Hello Family!
This week was wild! My last rodeo was on Wednesday and let me tell you how cool it was! It was very anti-climactic haha. It was about and hour shorter than usual (60 minutes exactly). There were 1-2 transfers per zone. I have also decided that I don't know like 80% of the missionaries in the mission now. Time to go I guess!
This area, and the zone, are absolutely exploding for this upcoming month. I remember writing a letter home about how I was disillusioned about numbers and key indicators. Well, I have learned a lot about them out here and I finally feel like I am getting a grasp on how to use them for our good. We set a goal as a zone to find 100 new investigators in the month of November and we have found 82 so far!!! We need to find 18 by the end of this Sunday and we should be able to do it. Our zone is the highest populated geographical area so we have been going crazy talking with everyone. Elder McCuch and I contacted in a park for an hour yesterday and we talked to 4 families! I was feeling off before we left the car so we prayed to have a little confidence to talk with strangers and it worked! Kind of cool. A New Christmas initiative just started called "He is the Gift." It is very legit. They are doing more NYC advertising and they are "taking over" Youtube for a day on December 7th. Keep your eyes peeled and watch the video when it comes out the day after thanksgiving. Currently, we have 19 people set to be baptized in December. WOW! The West Maricopa record is 14. WE CAN DO IT!!! We are working hard, staying consecrated, making sacrifices, and praying like it all depends on how fervent we pray! I am excited. It should happen. Our area absolutely exploded this week. Sebby and Alexa passed their interview and are very excited for Sunday. I think the entire La Joya ward will be going. They are ward favorites. Yahira, Jennifer, and Angel all accepted to be baptized in December too this past week! Actually 2 of them were yesterday. Angel is from Cuba; he doesn't know anything about Christianity, He hasn't heard about the church, and communication will be limited between him and his family while he is here. HE called his wife and she was very excited to hear about the church and what he is learning here. It is cool to see. I feel like ANgel is bringing back eternal life to his family who have, and forever would, live in darkness if it weren't for him coming here and finding the Gospel. The Restoration makes perfect sense to him. HE is prepared and guided by the Spirit. We really hope he gets baptized the 14th or at least some day in December. Anah (Sebby and Alexa's mom) really wants to get married and should this month! Then she will be baptized. Big things are happening and we are going to do everything we can to see it all happen!
The La Joya ward is awesome. I am having so much fun in it too. These members are sooo cool.
Well that might be it for today. I am eating Turkey dinner with the Garcia family (they own a Mexican sushi restaurant) and the Toledo family. Hopefully don't get too stuffed! We are staying super busy so the time is flying. Love you all very much.
PS it is freezing down here! Have you seen the temperature in the mornings?
Love, Elder Parry

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Phoenix Temple Cultural Celebration & Dedication: Epic!

Dear Family,

Definitely one of the best weeks of my mission. WOW. It was
incredible. I will start with the not-as-cool (but still really cool).
Last week we had our first WebEx meeting. It was a revolutionary
moment in missionary work! President Griffin, the Assistants, and 16
other companionships in the mission met together wherever we had wifi
to be in an internet chatroom. We had an hour long meeting and saved
much time and miles. It was epic.

So.. My last rodeo is tomorrow! Thankfully, I am going to the rodeo
and will be coming back to the same area with Elder McCuch. He is only
my second companion of 3 transfers and I am most definitely excited
for it. He is an incredible example to me and the work that we can get
done in 6 weeks to bring souls to Christ and prepare for future
reaping. Alexa y Sebby are getting baptized in 2 weeks! We have a few
others that are pretty hesitant. Angel (Our friend who is visiting
from Cuba) said he moved from 31% sure to 50% sure. He said he got his
answer about the Book of Mormon. He is LEGIT. Hermano Carcamo, his
friend, is the man. If he doesn't get his endowments before I go, I
want to come back and do it with him! This transfer will be WILD!
Tomorrow is my last transfer meeting, then Thanksgiving in a week,
then the last meeting with PResident and zone meetings, then Christmas
Conferences in Mesa again, then Christmas, then the Berrellezas go
through the temple, then I come home. All about a week apart from each
other. I am very excited for this transfer. Most of all, and this may
sound cliche, I am just excited to get to work. There is a lot to do
and a lot of potential during the Holiday season. Elder McCuch and I
have a lot of momentum having been together for 2 learning the ward
together. Yesterday we had a slight wake-up call haha.. We woke up to
exercise in FREEZING wheather (55 degrees; who knew that was freezing!
haha). It was so cold. Our jog made us super sick so we were inside
most of the day for like the first times in our missions. We got
better after sleeping, but don't want to have that happen again. It
felt very raro! Lots of work to get done. For the second time in a row
our zone only transferred one person out of 28. And I thought
President Taylor didn't transfer people very often. Speaking of that
man. WE SAW HIM AT THE CELEBRATION!!! He is looking good. He gave us
all hugs with tears streaming down. President Griffin convinced him to
just say hi to all of us #clashofstyles. He said that he is a Branch
President in the MTC. I love that man so much. It was good to see him.

The Spirit was very very strong at the Cultural Celebration. It
definitely fired me and all of us up when we began marching on the
track singing Called to Serve. The Sign Language/Be a Light was also
very powerful. The strongest impression I got all day was that of
happiness for a new temple. I truly felt like I was part of the
celebration of a new temple closeby. Even though I am not an Arizona
native I felt legitimately part of the group 0f 4300 youth and their
leaders. I felt like I have grown close to the wards and people out
here that I could legitimately be a part of the celebration. It really
was a sweet feeling to be there. We were there like 9 hours practicing
and doing a lot of hanging around too. I hung with Elders Fife, Jones,
Nelson, Ramos, Miller, a bunch of other missionary friends and I swung
by the Estrella, Estrellita, and La Joya ward tents to see all the
members. It was such a memorable day. President Uchtdorf had some
great things to say to us and all the General Authorities seemed to
love it. I was high-fiving every youth I could after the celebration.
Needless to say, I was elated all weekend long. The dedication was
powerful. So, keep this on the DL, but our Obispo gave Alexa, sebby,
and Anah tickets to the dedication. They were probably the only
investigators in the mission who ended up seeing it haha. They
absolutely loved it. The Prophet spoke. Our Stake President gave a
prayer and the Temple President (from our stake) spoke. I think I will
move to this stake so they can give me a more permanent calling here
haha (by Dec 30 it will be 11 months here). The meeting was very
spiritual. They talked about dedicating our lives to the temple. I
don't ever need to hear that more than once to know it though! I think
I want to get married in this temple. I feel very attached to it,
especially the past few weeks.

We did temple service! TWICE! It really is quite a blessing to be a
part of this whole thing. My appreciation has really grown for those
preparing a new temple. There was a lot of work put in; a lot of
behind-the-scenes work. Thursday we went up with 8 buddies from the
zone to create a platform and put down carpet for the dedication. The
platform was up against the edifice so that the Prophet and others
could walk right up to the cornerstone and put the mortar in. So we
saw the platform we made on TV during the broadcast! That service was
a whole lot of fun! The members in charge really trusted us so we just
cut carpet, stapled it in, painted, and did random chores on our own
together as missionaries. It was fun. Sunday night after the
dedication we PUT IN THE FURNITURE! There was a gigantic concrete
wharehouse in the basement just stuffed full of very nice temple
furniture. We would go to it to grab pieces then we distributed them
to the various parts of the temple. My contributions to the Celestial
room were a really nice lamp and one really flowery armchair haha. It
was truly something I will not forget. I was roaming around the temple
for a couple hours, carrying stuff and seeing all the features of it
over and over again. That is one exceptionally beautiful temple. We
got to sneak in the bride's room. It was very pretty too. The whole
weekend was a neat experience. INOLVIDABLE! I am very happy for all
the wonderful members of the church here in the Phoenix Valley. They
will enjoy very much the blessings of a temple nearby.

I love you all! Keep going to the temple!!!

Love, Elder Parry

Monday, November 10, 2014

Momma's Boy :-)

Another great week in the work of The Lord! So, don't get me wrong, I
miss you all very, very much. Especially mom, cause I think I am a
momma's boy. But I don't feel like I have been out here that long. I
feel like I should be out here a year longer to have a mission as hard
those of other missionaries in the mission that share their struggles
with me. Anyway, I will be home December 30th. I am excited for my
Christmas present! Can you not put candy in it? I ate ice cream for
the first time today in weeks and it made me sick. I am eating well.
It must be that Montana rancher and his steel-cut oats that is helping
me eat better.

Life in La Joya is pretty chill. Once again, I was wrong to think that
I wouldn't love another ward as much as I loved the previous wards.
This place is awesome! It might've been my last Sunday in the ward
considering that it is the temple dedication next sunday in place of
the regular service. Saturday is the Cultural Celebration!!! It will
probably be a day I never forget. Should be pretty exciting. Do you
have the broadcast information? If I am one of the lucky ones, I will
be going directly to the temple after the celebration to move
furniture into the building until 2 AM!! I went on exchanges into the
Estrella Ward finally. Can you believe it has been 4 months since I
was serving there!? Anyway, I love it there. I talked to the Berelleza
and Noris families again. Get this, the Berellezas are the legit
Recent convert family we were working with. They have been trying to
get to the temple for like 6 months. They FINALLY got all their
interviews and picked the date: DECEMBER 27th!!! I am Totally going
haha. I am really, really excited. Speaking of saving ordinances,
Alexa and Sebby (the kids of Gerardo and Anah) are REALLY excited to
be baptized. We decided it is not worth it to wait for them to get
married. So we are baptizing the cute little nine-yearolds. It was
such a sweet lesson with Hermano Ruiz last night. He is one of the
most converted men I have ever met. He went with us to the Toledos
(Gerardo and Anah). Alexa said she is so excited to get baptized that
she felt like a "chiva loca" (crazy goat). It was the cutest thing. It
was actually a full house at church today. Many people came. Many
people came that hadn't been in awhile. The Temple does miracles. When
you involve the temple in the work it will work mighty miracles. It
has been instant re-activation for many people who weren't presently
attending. It has been a fun week. Elder Johnson (my roommate and
former companion)'s girlfriend and her sister are getting baptized in
a month!! It was pretty exciting news for us today in emails. I don't
know how she hid from the missionaries in Logan for 19 years of her
life, but oh well. The work is hastening.

WOW. What a work for you all! I can't say that it would be better for
us that Caroline stays home because blessings will flood into our
family and her posterity because of her decision to serve. She will do
so well. I love her attitude in that little letter I read: something
about not worrying about me, I am happy and not worrying about
anything. That makes me feel like a really chump and baby as I
remember my first week in the MTC hahahaha. That is so vintage
Caroline. She is such a strong person. The Lord is going to put her
with spiritually challenged and emotionally unstable companions her
whole mission because she will help them so much! Sounds like football
has been a whirlwind too. You can never get enough Coach Wall! I can't tell you how often in my mission his cheesy, repetitive, yet very true and inspiring quotes have popped in
my head since I have been out here. Lately I have been hearing a lot
of; "let it all hang out (his always-inspiring line for the last brave
quarter of the day)!"

This past week I am seeing and feeling the fruits of studying the
doctrine very thoroughly. President Griffin is turning this mission
upside-down in how we do things. We are all focusing really hard on
the doctrine in our studies. He wants us to spend an hour of our 3
studies studying nothing but the lessons and the scriptures listed. He
wants us to take a month a lesson until we have it just locked in. I
have had the best studies of my mission the last week. Him and Elder
Corbridge, and the writers of PMG are right about putting the doctrine
in their exactly how it should be taught (with one exception/trump
card: The guidance of the Spirit). The only sin or mistake we ever
could make is one made because of misunderstanding of the doctrine we
know and strive to live and love.

I can't really think of anything else. Just feel like chatting with
y'all today. Peace out!

Love Elder Parry