Contact Information


Letter Mailing Address:
Elder Parker Spanbauer
Chile Antofagasta Mission
Casilla de Correo 70

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Week 60 Antofagasta

April 30, 2016

Hello family! This is my weekly update...

So this week was kind of a slow week as far as finding new people to teach. We did find a few people but it definitely wasn't our best week. Elder Morales and I have been trying to be completely obedient so that the lord will bless us for our efforts. Last Monday we went downtown with President Dalton to help him with some legal work so he can leave the country. It was really cool to just walk around town with President. He shared a lot of things with us including a little bit of his success stories in life. He expressed how important the mission was for him and how it has effected him. While we were waiting in the PDI I asked President to write in my memory book and he did!!! I also bought President´s bus pass to end the mission! It is kinda sad because we know that his mission is coming to an end but its cool to be here in the office to see a lot of the behind the scenes. President talks a lot about his grandchildren haha. I have been training Elder Huffstutler so that he can take the ropes when I leave. He is doing well, probably better than I did when I first got here haha. Like me, he is a very relaxed person so the stress shouldn't effect him too much. I will be leaving the office in about a week from this coming Monday but I still don´t know where I am heading. I am extremely excited to get back out in the field!!! I have learned many things in the office that I will be able to apply in my life and I feel privileged to have served here. This ward is seriously amazing. There is almost not a day that goes by without working with a member from the ward. The members here are so willing to leave and work with us! This next week I will be saying my goodbyes to the families that have impacted me. This is always the hardest part for me because a fourth of my mission took place here and there is a lot of history here. I honestly think I have learned more in these last few transfers than I have in my entire mission. I now understand what it means to be "diligent" and to work hard. I think Elder Morales has really helped me better understand obedience and the blessings that follow when we are obedient. I have no idea where I am going after the office but I will definitely carry this basic principle with me. The more I think about it, the mission is not only for the people we serve... as a unintentional or indirect result the mission changes us. It changes our perspective and state of mind towards God´s children. We begin to desire the salvation of everyone! I am beginning to look at people through god´s eyes and see what it is they can become rather than seeing them as fixed objects that cannot change. The first great commandment: "Love god with all your heart, might, mind and strength". The first great truth: "God loves US with all HIS heart, might, mind and strength". -Elder Holland 
What better way to show our love for our heavenly father than by serving his children? There is no better way. I think that´s why serving a mission is so important. It gives one the opportunity to experience first hand how the lord works with others through us. Honestly, I feel like writing a book when I get back because there are so many things I have learned here in the mission! I owe a lot to each and every one of you. If it weren't for you guys, I would not be here. I would not have learned the things I have learned. So in short.... thank you. Love you all! Until next week!

Photo with the Salazar family

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Week 59 Antofagasta

April 23, 2016

This past week was one of the fastest weeks I have experienced in the mission. I feel like it was just yesterday I was writing you all. This week we had our ward conference in Antofagasta Centro and so there was an activity every night. This was awesome but also kind of hard because our time in our sector is already limited because we are in the office all day... but it gave us an opportunity to bond with the ward members. Tuesday we had an activity where we had to perform mini skits about biblical stories. Elder Morales and I weren't originally supposed to participate in it but they were short on people so they made us participate last minute! haha but it was fun. Wednesday we were in charge of the activity and we did a game night. We started with a game called "So you think you know English" and it was awesome! We handed out little study guides with a few words in English and then gave everyone 5 minutes to study the words. We then formed 2 groups and had them compete to see who knew more English. It was super fun because we played that game in the MTC in Santiago when I got here. It is hilarious to see Latins try to speak English! On Thursday there was an activity about genealogy, which was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Friday, or yesterday we had a ward fair. We set up a bunch of different booths and had certain people share things about the gospel at each one. We also had a bunch of games set up a long with a popcorn stand and cotton candy! After that, everyone went downstairs where we had 3 rooms set up representing the 3 kingdoms of heaven. Elder Morales and I were in charge of teaching the class for the terrestrial kingdom. It was probably one of the best activities I have had in the mission! We tried super hard to get our investigators to come to the activities but none of them did... It is so hard to get people to keep a commitment here. It was funny because we live super far from the church so we had to literally run all the way back to the pension every night because we have to be in the pension by 10:00pm. I´m sure people were looking at us weird haha. We did manage to have a few lessons with our investigators and one of them says he will get baptized but he thinks it would have to be in a month or two. His name is Kermit. He agreed to keep the word of wisdom and he is making real progress. We also found a few new potential investigators this week but haven't had the chance to teach them a full lesson yet. Carlos Calderón still has not told us what happened in his dream because he is ALWAYS working... I have been trying to find that man for a week! His phone doesn't seem to be working but we will try and get in contact with him. Anyway, that’s about all I can think of right now but attached are some pictures! Take care and until next week!

Elder Spanbauer

"El Reino Terrestre" (Terrestrial Kingdom)

Ward Fair

Hermano Camacho!!!

Me... "trying" to teach english hahaha

English Competition

Everyone says he is my twin

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Week 58 Antofagasta

April 18, 2016

Here is the quick update:

So first off, I have been pretty busy training Elder Huffstutler to replace me. I have about 3 weeks left in the office. It makes me sad to think that my office journey is coming to an end but at the same time I am super excited to see what happens after. Being companions with Elder Morales for 3 transfers has been awesome. He has taught me a ton and has helped me understand many things. Elder Morales is actually going home the same day I do so I will see him at the end of my mission. The two current assistants are also from my group so it will be a party on our last day when we all see each other again! So this week started off a little slow. We were having lessons but just a few a day and we weren’t really working much with members. We decided to try harder to find members to leave and work with us and we did! In fact, yesterday we worked with two separate members and managed to have 4 lessons with members present in the 4 hours we were able to work. Carlos Calderón, an old investigator we used to teach that went to general conference called us and told us he wants us to pass by his house in the morning on Sunday to go to church together. He also said he had a dream and that he wants to be baptized! The call cut out after that and I wasn’t able to talk to him more about this dream but I’m excited to see what happened! He has been a tough investigator that hadn’t progressed much but now he has changed. We are going to follow up with him and see how soon we can get him baptized. Sorry this email is a little short today... We went bowling so we don’t have much time to write. I love you all and here are a few photos!

Elder Spanbauer

P-Day Bowling

Elder Huffstutler

Elder Morales

That´s right.... I always win ;)

Office Team!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Week 57 Antofagasta

April 9, 2016

This past week has been awesome! General conference was amazing and we had 3 investigators go!!! It was cool to see how the lord blesses us as we work diligently. Our prayers were definitely answered. Two transfers ago Elder Morales and I had to start from the ground up in this sector and now we have several families and many new investigators. We have come become very close with the members in the ward and we have seen so progress in Antofagasta Centro. Elder Morales has really helped me to keep my focus as a missionary, which is to find, teach and baptize. We teach repentance and we baptize converts. We work great together. We found a new family while looking for a reference some members gave us and they are awesome! It is a young couple and they both had a son recently. The baby had several problems at birth and the doctors said the baby boy was going to die but she prayed and her prayer was answered. They are both amazing and so receptive. We just knocked on their door and told them that we had a message that could change their lives and they let us in immediately. We shared lesson 1 (The Restoration) and focused a lot on the family and how the gospel blesses families. They both desire to learn more and said they are going to do everything possible to go to church this Sunday. Also, we have an investigator named "Coco" and he is incredibly receptive. We met him last week and he said he wants to come to church with us this week as well! We have an investigator named Kermit that is searching for the true church and is reading 10 chapters a day in the Book of Mormon! We taught him recently and we talked about baptism. He doesn’t want to feel pressured into being baptized but he said if he comes to know that this is the true church and that the Book of Mormon is the word of god, he will be baptized. He too committed to coming to church. Jaime and Kelly are two other investigators we have and they both went to the conference! They both really enjoyed it and we were able to teach Jaime the other day and he said he would like to continue learning more about the gospel. He said that he would try to make it Sunday. We met the mother of an old investigator we used to teach and she is super awesome. She actually almost got baptized in our church but she decided not to. We are now teaching her and we are going to help her finish what she started. Christian, our investigator that had a baptismal date for the 30th decided he doesn’t want to get baptized. He said that church just wasn’t something for him. I’m absolutely sure his friends talked him out of it but its okay. We are going to give him sometime to think about it and we will stay in contact with him. Alan and his wife Zulema both have a baptismal date for the 30th as well but they still have not committed to going to church. They work in the "vega" which is like the farmers market here in Chile and he works every Sunday. This makes it very hard for him to progress because this is the best day to work in the vega. Yesterday, we had the 1st counselor of the bishopric come with us to teach Alan and we taught "El día de Reposo" (Keeping the Sabbath day). He still is having a hard time with this. Brother Sanchez, the 1st counselor that came with us invited Alan and his family to a Family home evening in his house this Monday. I think this is exactly what Alan needs. To see a family that applies the principles of the gospel in their lives. I’m excited to see what happens with this. We are finding new investigators everyday and we truly are seeing miracles. 

On another note, this week in the office I have had a little extra time to do stuff because I have been training Elder Huffstutler so I decided to type up a short version of my conversion story. It was kind of fun to write and it gave me an opportunity to look back and reflect on my life. It was cool to see what events in my life have gotten me to this moment and time. Attached is a copy of it. I’m still not done with it but here is. Now, my invitation to all of you is to do the same. I want each of you to send me a one paged summary of your conversion stories before next Saturday. This is an awesome opportunity to strengthen your testimonies and build your faith. I will be looking forward to reading each and every one of them! Anyway, got people to save! Until next week! Love you all.

Elder Spanbauer

April 6th, 2016
My Conversion Story
My name is Parker Todd Spanbauer. I’m a Mormon and this is my conversion story:

I was born in Boise Idaho in the year of 1996 to wonderful parents. My father, Timothy Todd Spanbauer and my mother, Lisa Lynn Hayhurst were both born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As Nephi once said, “I have been born of goodly parents”. I think this applies to me as well. I feel so privileged to have been born into this great and wonderful church but in order to understand why, we must go to my past.

Growing up, I have always participated in many of the Church’s programs like scouting for example. This experience has allowed me to develop many friendships with many different people that share similar backgrounds and religious views. My friends in the church have played a huge role in me becoming the person I am today. There are many people in this world that believe one is influenced by those around them. I completely agree with this statement but only to a certain degree. I believe that at some point in everyone’s life, a decision has to be made and that decision cannot be made by anyone else. Just me, and only me. My parents taught me basic principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ but it wasn’t until I applied these principles that I began to see a change in me and my desires to serve others. As a young teenager, it was all about “Me”. I had no interest in others or their needs or necessities. If I was happy, the world was happy. My view on this has changed tremendously over the years. I love the scripture in Messiah 2:17 that reads: “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”

Before making the decision of serving a fulltime mission, I had many doubts and fears of serving. My dad served a mission in Puerto Rico but I never really understood the importance of serving. I was “Lost” so to speak. Lost in thought and confusion. Part of me wanted to serve a mission to simply say I served a mission, another part of me wanted to start studying and begin my life. In short terms, I was confused. I did not know what to do nor which path I should take. On top of all this confusion, I wasn’t really living the gospel like I should have. I would go to church but with a bad attitude. I didn’t read the scriptures or pray daily. I simply did not practice what I pretended to be. I had a best friend that was always an example to me. Sometimes it made me mad because I thought he was “Too Mormon”. The ironic part of it all is the fact that this same friend was the one who helped me get out on the mission. His desire to serve the lord was contagious! He would encourage me to attend mission preparation classes even though he knew I had no desire to do so. He was a good friend, but an even better example. He received his mission call to South America. I remember feeling so jealous of his call and I believe that this jealousy sparked a little fire in me with the desire to serve. I began to really push through my mission papers to get my call as fast as possible. I also committed myself to reading the Book of Mormon every day. I began to pray before bed each night. I began to practice and apply what my parents and church leaders had taught me. The weirdest thing of it all was that I began to enjoy it. I experienced “Spiritual Hunger” to a degree I had never thought possible. I could not sleep without reading or praying beforehand. I began to have the desire to do good. Now I can’t say that I became some sort of angel overnight but I can say that I experienced a change of heart.

As a young adult, I was always “jealous” of the people that could say: “I know this church is true”. I wanted to be able to say the same but I couldn’t. I read and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and I felt nothing… Absolutely nothing. “How is it that one can pray and receive an answer from god?” I would ask myself. What was I doing wrong? Maybe I didn’t have enough faith perhaps? To this day I have not had some sort of heavenly manifestation from god telling me that the Book of Mormon is true nor do I plan having one. A simple good feeling should be enough to satisfy our spiritual desires. Elder Bednar said something I really liked. He said: “Now I don’t know about all of you but I would take a simple feeling of peace and comfort over having an angel from heaven come down to tell me that these things are true like with Alma the younger”. I thought this was hilarious but at the same time he taught a very basic principle of the gospel: Faith. If we ask, we shall receive. If we ask with a sincere heart, true intent and with faith in Christ, we can know the truth of all things. What an amazing promise. We must be willing to act in accordance with the answer we are given. Many believe that God is some celestial being far away but he is a lot closer than we think. He knows us individually, he knows what we are feeling and most importantly… he knows how to help us. So with this said, I kept reading and praying and began to recognize a sense of peace in my life. I could begin to see a difference in my life. I guess you could say I received my answer.

I received my mission call to Antofagasta Chile and that is where I currently am. I have truly learned to love those around me. I now know what it means to serve others. I have seen miracles in my life as a missionary and have had the opportunity to see how the lord works through us to help others. I have grown closer to my heavenly father and my lord and savior. Many are like me; they wait and wait and wait and then wait a little more for the answer to come. Faith is a verb. It requires action and dedication to that which we are looking for. It wasn’t until after testing my faith that I came to know that this church is true. I had to leave my family, my friends and all my selfish desires to come closer unto my savior. It was a hard lesson to learn and I learned it pretty late but you know what they say…. Better late than never. I stand as a witness that god lives and that he sent his only begotten son to atone for the sins of the world. When we surrender to the will of the father, it is then and only then that we become his children. I know god and I love god with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I pray that others can begin to exercise their faith and feel as I do. I pray that others can gain a better understanding of their purpose in life. God loves us. He listens to us. He wants us. This is my testimony. This is my conversion story… In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Spanbauer

Office Staff Road Trip to Zone Conferences

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Week 56 Antofagasta

Apr 2, 2016

So this last week was a very stressful one. The last week of the cambio "transfer" is always the hardest. I had to plan all of the bus travel and it killed me haha. It seriously is harder than it sounds. Good news is that it is my last time doing it alone. That’s right, my son has arrived to the office! Elder Huffstutler. He is from Alabama and is quite the character haha. I’m a proud father haha. I will be training him for the next 6 weeks and then he will be taking over. I’m super excited because I will get to be a normal missionary again! The office has been great and I feel I have learned more here than in any other place but every good thing comes to an end. I’m excited to start the next chapter of the mission. It will be a little lame though because I will know when and where I am going next before everyone else, so it wont really be a surprise. Anyway, I finished the cambios and everyone got to their new sectors without any issues. All of the new missionaries arrived and it was funny to see all of their innocent little faces haha. I took my office son (E´ Huffstutler) to go buy the empanadas for lunch and I got to know him a little better. He is seriously soo funny and has the coolest accent. Right after the transfer we had leadership counsel, which is when all of the Zone Leaders come to Antofagasta. I got to see a ton of old friends and now I feel like I know all of the missionaries in the mission. That is one of the coolest parts of being in the office. Friday (yesterday) was our first normal day of this week and it was a nice break. Everything was calm and I was able to relax a little and start training my baby boy haha. This cambio is going to be awesome. Elder Morales and I have set some pretty high goals and I intend on doing everything in my power to reach them. We have invited so many people to general conference and I pray they will come. One of the hardest things here is getting people to keep a commitment. I know that if we invite 100 people and only 1 person comes, it’s worth it. We have been working a lot with members to obtain references. We have found some pretty cool families and remember Alsides??? He finally came back from Bolivia and we met with him and set a new baptismal date! We set it for April 23rd. If he really shows us that he wants to be baptized by coming to church, he will be getting baptized that day. We have also been working with the young men in the ward and it has been awesome. We do splits with a young man named Christoper and now he wants nothing else but to serve a mission. When I first got to Antofagasta he wanted nothing from the church and now he wants to serve a mission! I love working with the young men. Its cool to see how the gospel changes them and how they think. They no longer desire things for themselves but rather desire the welfare of others. Many say they want to serve a mission to be changed, but the mission doesn't change you.... The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes us as we strive to live as Christ did. As we apply what we teach. The mission just provides us with an environment to grow spiritually but anyone can change. I invite you all to read chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel. There is an activity at the very back of this chapter that helps us see which Christ-like attributes we lack or need to improve. I know that my redeemer lives and that he atoned for each and everyone of us. I pray that we can better comprehend what that truly means. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Spanbauer

BTW, I received my package! I had no idea they made candy bars that big!
Thank you guys so much! I love the tiepins! Oh, and the superman shirt!
The pictures are awesome! Hahahaha

Enjoying A "Little" Chocolate!!!

This is Elder Huffstutler (my baby boy)

The Assistants

Birthday / Easter Package

Oh I forgot!!!

There was a man I taught in Vallenar named Lino Donoso that got baptized last Week!!!!!!! Here are the photos that my buddy Elder Cloward sent me! Its really cool because Hermano Carrizo (the guy to the left was an awesome member in Vallenar and Elder Malan and I got him to come with us to a lesson once with Lino and they became great friends like immediately. Apparently Hermano Carrizo was the one that actually baptized him!!! I seriously loved that family so much and now Lino shows up to church early every Sunday. He also asks to give talks in sacrament meeting!!! Who does that????!!! I feel blessed to have served in Vallenar. 

Elder Spanbauer

Hermano Carrizo (Left) with Lino Donoso (Right)

Lino Donoso's Baptism!