summer discoveries

2:48 PM Marcie Parson 5 Comments

  • Smart cookie in American Fork. Ice cream sandwiches with freshly baked cookies. Yum.
  • Kanarraville Falls. Water hike, waterfalls, water slides. 
  • Rush tickets at Tuacahn. $25 tickets for Mary Poppins? Are you kidding? Dreams coming true here.
  • Coconut shrimp at Red Lobster. Who knew?
  • Stewart Falls. Beautiful falls right down the street. Except it costs 6 bucks to get into the park.
  • Youth pricing at the Natural History Museum of Utah. If you are between ages 13 and 24, you are considered a youth, and your ticket is $2 cheaper than the adult tickets. Cheers to never growing up!
  • The movie 42. Watch it. Love it. Watch it again. Here's the trailer.
  • Hill Aerospace Museum in Ogden. It's no Udvar-Hazy Center, but it came with some personal stories about Craig's grandpa and was mighty close by to my Grandpa Clement and Farr's Ice Cream. And we all know how I feel about family and ice cream.
  • Spanish Fork Fiesta Days y'all. I was a first-timer at the rodeo, and I must say I'd love to go again.
I like doing my adventuring with him.


one more year

10:12 AM Marcie Parson 3 Comments

In October 2010, my parents told me they were selling their house because of something they felt at general conference. I cried.

On a PK conference call in December 2010, they told the kids they had a "Christmas story" for us, in which they explained the real reason they sold the house: they had been called to be mission presidents. They met with Elder Ballard in October and Elder Uchtdorf in November (without stopping by Provo to see us - thanks), and they were extended a call as Spanish-speaking mission presidents. I was SO excited for them and switched into a Spanish class at BYU the next day.

In February 2011, they got their assignment: the Colombia Cali Mission. It is the exact same mission my dad served in. I couldn't tell anyone for a few weeks, but when I could, all my friends gathered in my tiny dorm room at midnight mission-call-opening style so I could make the big announcement. We decided that I could go with them their first two months until school started in August - I was ecstatic.

On June 19, 2011, I drove down to St. George to hear them speak at their "farewell." I was so proud.

We drove back to Salt Lake, where they were set apart on June 21 by Elder Christofferson and Elder Robbins. We chatted for a bit about how Elder Christofferson was in the Herndon ward for a year and Dad taught his son seminary. Then they got down to business and invited Dad up. Elder Christofferson set him apart, and it was amazing to hear an apostle give a blessing to my dad. He blessed our family and I immediately felt it. Elder Robbins set apart my mom, and I just cried through hers. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for being born to such incredible parents.

Later that night I dropped my parents off at the MTC, and I felt like such a proud parent.

On June 27, we were headed to Lima, Peru for new mission president training. It was my first real experience out of the country, so this was where my love for travel was born. I sucked in South America and was smitten by its culture. My Spanish was atrocious, but somehow I communicated with people.

July 1, 2011 was their first day as mission presidents of the Colombia Cali mission, but it was July 2 when they were officially abandoned by the old mission presidents and had to do everything on their own. Dad tried to figure out how to drive in a country where there are absolutely no traffic laws. We got rear-ended and they drove off. Mom had 5 sick calls and couldn't speak Spanish yet. I couldn't understand anyone, and I just stared at people like an idiot. We attempted to go grocery shopping -- that was exciting. The whole day was absolutely bizarre, but I loved it. I ended my journal entry like this, "I love it here so far! Green, hot, humid, and exciting! Can't wait for tomorrow!" I'm sure my parents' journals did not look the same.

I spent the summer there. Every single day was stressful and emotional, but the experience was incredible. It wasn't a normal summer vacation. We were living there, fending for ourselves in an unfamiliar world. Everything was new. I kissed hundreds of people on the cheek, saw absolute poverty, and ate strange and questionable food. Each day was driven by missionary work, and I absolutely adored the spirit of it all.

I said goodbye on August 25, 2011. I sobbed at the airport and on the plane. The next few months I fought the fact that I was being forced to grow up. On my first day of school, I got rear-ended, and the guy who hit me drove off. Not being able to call my dad, I called my big brother and crumpled into a mess of tears. It took me a long, long time to get used to not being able to call my parents every day. It didn't get easier until I went to Jerusalem and could only skype them a few times during those 4 months.

A year and some change passed, and I saw them again in December 2012. I had three weeks for Christmas break that year -- thank you, BYU -- and so plane tickets were what I got for Christmas. My second time in Colombia was so different from the first. My parents were rockstars at running a mission and living in a foreign country, my Spanish was significantly better, and Steve came for a week! We spent our time giving Christmas devotionals all over the mission, baking treats, and playing games as a family. It was the best Christmas I have ever had.

Today my parents complete two years of their mission. I sure am excited to have them home in just one more year.