Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017: Email for Mom

I just got an email back from President Mansell to call him for that August date, so I'll let you know how that goes.

Got the flash drive package. Nathan talked his short film way down. I thought the solution to that film and the whole way it played out was pretty great, but I guess I don't need to tell you that. Thanks for sending the call video, too! That was awesome!

R. has been a member for a good while now and has had ups and downs each week, but this week he was really struggling with the Word of Wisdom, and his brother decided to visit. His brother used some verses from the Bible to try and disprove the Word of Wisdom. R. has heard this stuff before, but this time it’s more of a struggle because he kind of wants to relax. We explained it and answered his question, but it seems that right now he just needs to pray about this. Please pray for him!

The rest of this week was amazing! I feel like we're having huge blessings of meeting prepared people and planting good seeds. We were headed to a potential [investigator's] house when we ran into the autistic son of one of our less-active [members]. We walked him home and spotted a couple outside working on an old fridge. The guy (B.) was trying to be difficult at first and mess with us, but then his younger brother walks out and says they should listen to us. Turns out that his younger brother is a less-active in another ward and he still has a good testimony of the church. After his brother talked to him a little about what we do, he changed his whole tone and asked us for a Book of Mormon! We had run out and so we said we'd pick some up from the car and bring it back, and he was good with that.

Just a little down the road on the way to the car, we ran into a lady who was crying on her porch. Her son was an alcoholic and had run off just that day. She asked us to pray with her for him and she let us come back to follow up with her. There were two more houses like that where the people there were just having a bunk day that we helped out, and then made our way back to B. and B.

When we came back, they said they wanted us to show them how to study it alongside the Bible and invited us in. It looked like they cleaned up the place. We're going back for a second lesson tomorrow!

Thanks so much for your prayers, Mom. I remember that when these things happen, it’s answers to a lot of prayer.

Elder Rice

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017: Email for Mom

Well, this week has had to have been one of the best on the mission. Got an amazing package from you guys—the comics were pretty hilarious; they're still sitting on my desk. We had super miracles proselyting and it seems like all the less-active [members] who were so hard to open up with are having a softer heart. Top it all off, Nathan got an exciting mission call [Mexico Tijuana mission]. Elder S. used to go down to the nice part (apparently, there is one) and dirt bike. He said if he had had his choice, it definitely would've been there.

A few days ago, Elder S. and I had the most miracle-filled day. It started off with our dinner cancelling. Yeah, not so good. Our investigator T. also needed to reschedule for the evening and we had to let our member [chaperone] know. He had the idea to have T. come and have dinner with his family and we immediately jumped on the chance. T. liked the idea and offered to bring a dessert. We made a lesson outline and got out to work.

At one point, all our plans fell through and we were about to just go tract for a little, when we got a random call from someone asking if we wanted some referrals. We went and met with the guy and it turns out he was a recent convert of four months. He had just recently traveled to Utah by himself to watch all the conference sessions live, and the branch in Guymon he was baptized into had something like 30 people, so we knew he had joined for all the right reasons. Super inspirational. He referred us to all his family and friends in Broken Arrow and plans on sending a few more our way. We got to the lesson with T. later and she and Sister R. got along amazing. The kids connected well, too, and the lesson went off without a hitch. T. said, "I really feel like this message came at just the perfect time in my life. I really need something like this."

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 10, 2017: Letters from and to Nathan, Jacob

From: Jacob Rice
Subject: Remembwah

Hi Parker,

I’m really hoping that you will be able to see Nathan before he goes on his mission. When you get back I'm going to be much older and way more handsome than you, so be prepared :) I’m really excited to see how Inigo reacts when you get home. He might be scared; he might be excited; he might growl—who knows? This week I had a lot of fun for spring break and now it’s back to school. I love you.

Jacob 😗

From: Parker Rice
Subject: Re: Remembwah

Jacob, I don't think it’s even healthy to be that handsome. You might want to take it down a notch before you hurt something. I hope Inigo remembers me! He's a dog, though, so he hasn't seen me in 14 dog years.

I can't wait to see your comic! And I'll get to see you this upcoming Mother's Day, so that will be way exciting.

Love you, Jacob!
Elder Rice

From: Nathan Rice
Subject: Pretty much done animating …

Dear Elder Rice,

My animation is pretty much finished—just a few tweaks and a couple of seconds to animate. It will take a few days to finish rendering, though, so in the meantime I want to create a musical score for it so it’s not just silent the whole 90 seconds. I already have a theme that I want to use for it. After I finish, I’ll have to send the music to you. I’m not sure if you’ll have any sort of access to YouTube at any point, but if you want to see the animation when it’s finished, it will be posted there.

As far as the storyline goes, I found out that 90 seconds passes a lot faster than it seems, so the plot has been fairly condensed and simplified. I did come up with a resolution, though—actually, one of Mom’s coworkers came up with it. (I’ll be putting his name in the credits.) You’ll have to wait to see it. The quality of the video is pretty amateur; the video is sort of grainy, and the animation seems a little bit wonky, but I put everything I’ve got into it, both in computing power and skill.

Animating is pretty much all I did over spring break, except for a training hike for High Adventure. We got up at 6:45 Saturday morning and hiked in the 40-degree weather as it rained. I think Dad will send you a photo or two of us in our yellow rain jackets.

A boy just joined our priests quorum whose family converted to the Church just a few months ago. It’s really cool, but part of me feel a little bit nervous. You know the priests aren’t exactly all that mature and you don’t want to leave him with a bad impression. I guess I should probably get used to it if I’m going to be serving a mission working with investigators for two years.

Even with all the work I’ve been doing with animating, AP Art, and BC Calc, I managed to get a 4.0 last term, which I didn’t entirely think I was capable of doing. I think responsibility is sort of like this super power where, once you have it, you can do almost anything. We live in a day with all this incredible technology that we can use to learn just about anything; all you really need to do is reach out and take it.


P.S. Are you getting my emails? I’ve been sending one almost every week.

From: Parker Rice
Subject: Got ‘em

Yes, I have been getting the emails. I thought I'd sent something back, though. Are you getting mine? Anyway, it looks like you’re still doing a fantastic job on your animation and I can't wait to see how it goes!

So have you got any guesses where you're going to go? I'm thinking Chile or something weird like England, Mandarin speaking. (Not sure if that exists.)

There's not much I've got this week I feel. It’s just been kind of a blur. A good one with lots of new investigators and potentials, but a blur nonetheless.

Love you, Nathan! Keep working hard!
Elder Rice

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April 3, 2017: Emails to Mom, Jacob, and Joshua

To Mom

So far so good. I'm getting along great with "Little Smith." He's super energetic and excited to be out here in Tulsa. We've been playing chess and doing a lot of basketball handling in the apartment with our extra time. He was also companions with a young man in the ward who is on a "mini mission" right now, and his family was super excited to meet him and has already given us a very promising referral.

Conference was amazing! Uchtdorf and Eyring had amazing talks every time they came up, and I really enjoyed Sabin's as well. His talk was pretty simple, but I definitely was inspired to go "all in."

I have to say the guilt vs. shame culture definitely made a lot of sense to me. I feel like a lot of times people confuse guilt and shame. Not so much here in Oklahoma, or at least not in the way that Elder Christofferson was describing. Sadly, it seems those struggling with faith or who have no faith are often also shamed for not being strong Christians. It's a two-way street, I guess. Anyway, the priesthood talks were fantastic and I have to say my favorite talk of all was President Eyring's talk on walking with the Savior.

I'm glad you all got to watch conference together! It seems like you get to see Uncle Jim's family all the time now!

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

To Jacob

So I saw your gigantic barbarian axe you made! What was the inspiration behind making that? Just had some stuff lying around?

Well, me and my new companion are getting along pretty awesome. His name is Elder Smith and we do a lot of chess and basketball handling in the free time we've got. The other Elder Smith in the mission (the one that trained me) is also in my district. I think he might go home after this transfer, so it's pretty cool that I get to be here for it. It's pretty hilarious because he's a super country redneck guy and spent most of his time in the outskirts areas, and now he's been dropped in the city. He's a pretty funny guy too, so it's a good combo.

Love you, Jacob!
Elder Rice

To Joshua

Sweet! I'm super excited to see what you guys write! Nathan's super busy it seems like, so I'd bug him after he finishes the animation. Make sure to bug him, though. He's got to spend time with you guys before he leaves.

Just had our whole district get transformed! Only Elder M. and I stayed, and he got made the district leader. I have my trainer Elder Smith in my district now and a different Elder Smith as my companion. They're both pretty awesome, though. This last district meeting, we did a lot of role plays to practice our street and store contacting and Big Smith (my trainer) led off by walking up to our “random shopper” and saying "That bread looks SICK!" We all just laughed and the whole thing eventually had to restart because we were laughing too hard.

Love you, Joshua! Keep working hard.
Elder Rice