Monday, December 28, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo

I don´t have much to say since I got to talk with you guys this week!!!! Butttt it was SO good to see you guys!!! I was really worried that afterwards I would be a wreck for weeks but it was just really good to see you guys - it was just what I needed!
Today before we headed to the lan house I sang Phantom of the Opera with my Erlangil (sorry I have no idea how to spell his name lolol) who played the flute! Christmas Eve was wonderful because it was overcast ALL DAY (literally a miracle) and was sprinkling on us off and on so I got to wear my red cardigan!!! But we´re headed into rainy season so hopefully I´ll be able to use my... 2 cardigans that I brought hahaha. Christmas Day was obviously the best because I got to talk to my family who I love with all my heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Feliz Natal and Feliz Ano Novo to you all!!!
I love you all so much! Thank you for your love, thank you for your prayers, and thank you for your emails and pictures! 

- Sister Parks

Monday, December 21, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - Feliz Natal and Merry Christmas!!!!!

Yeah, it means the same thing^

Hello family who I get to talk with 3 times this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week has been filled of fun! 
Tuesday we had our Christmas Mission Conference which was great!! We had pancakes for breakfast (sadly no maple syrup but it was still yummy) and we got to watch a movie!!! It was Kung Fu Panda and I wasn´t looking forward to it because lesbehonest [let’s be honest] it´s really for children and kinda dumb but I put that out of my mind and just enjoyed it and was laughing and it actually had a good message which we all discussed afterwards! We have to believe in ourselves; there´s no secret recipe for greatness. It´s already in us!
Then Friday we had our Zone Christmas Conference which was also nice. We all shared an experience about the spirit of Christmas and such.
This week was also a week of miracles with my recent converts. Eleonardo is doing SO GREAT! He´s going through a treatment to help him stop drinking, and he´s doing so great! The other day we ran into Padua too and get this, after we closed with a prayer with him he saw his friend and he went over to him and started teaching him and inviting him to "our church" and omg it was the cutest thing!!!
Christmas time is great! We also had a Christmas dinner with the ward, and the kids did a performance which I’m sending to y’all! Then afterwards I got to sing Phantom of the Opera!!! Wooh!! The pianist and our friend who lives below us who plays the flute were playing some songs while everyone was in line getting food so I quickly ate and ran over to them in glee and they were like, “sing!!” So I sang a few songs haha - made my night!

I´m doing great! Christmas time is wonderful to think about the true meaning of Christmas, the true Christmas of Spirit. The birth of Jesus Christ! He was the greatest gift our Heavenly Father sent to us :) I´m so grateful to my Savior, I´m grateful for my family, and for the time I have here in Brasil. :)



- Sister Parks

Monday, December 14, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - December 14, 2015

This week it rained longer than two minutes!!!!!! It rained for most of the morning which was awesome because we had to leave early to go to the clinic for Sister R. Santos (that´s not the awesome part) but we got to walk in the rain! But yeah, my poor companion has been sick for quite some time, even before she came here. So finally Sister Fusco told her to go to the clinic, and they told her to do some exams so now we´re just waiting for the results! Poor thing. She also got me a bit sick haha yesterday I had a fever of 100 degrees so we called President and he said to take medicine and rest so I got to sleep for a bit which was nice. I think my fever´s gone today. My nose is still having troubles, but that should go away soon. 
After not seeing Padua for a few days (because we obviously don´t meet at his house anymore and he doesn´t have a cell phone) we saw him the other day on the street! We were walking back from an appointment when we saw a crazy man waving at us from the bus that was stopped at the light on the other side of the road. After a few seconds I recognized it was Padua! So we shouted hello and quickly set up an appointment in the chapel for the next night. He´s still doing great and yesterday he received the Aaronic Priesthood!!!! It was awesome!!
Eleonardo has also been struggling this past week as he fell back into his routine of drinking but we´ve been stopping by and setting goals with him and the past few days he hasn´t drunk! (drank? drunken? Ugh.. English, man.) He came to church too, was a little late, but he wasn´t drunk! The Sunday before he showed up drunk... but that´s in the past!
We also encountered a Celestial Corner!!!! We needed new investigators, and we saw a group of 3 or 4 men sitting on a corner so we went to talk to them and by the end there were more than 10 men!!! They weren´t drinking or anything - they just like to sit there on the corner at night after a hard day’s work and they´re soo sweet and so great! Now every time we stop by they buy us ice cream and Coca-Cola hahaha it´s adorable! We´re trying to meet with each of them and their families in their houses now :)


- Sister Parks

Monday, December 7, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - The Ups and Downs

You want the bad news or the good news first? I´ll start with the bad. But first, please don´t worry because I´m fine, okay? :)

Padua was confirmed this past week!!!!!!! It was awesome and he´s preparing to receive the priesthood! He´s so great! The other day as we were walking back from the chapel he said that what he really wants is to raise his granddaughter (that he loves to bring to church with him because she stays with him on the weekends) in the gospel and to teach her about the gospel. I wanted to cry! It was the cutest thing! I am so grateful to have met him and to have been a part of his journey in the church. Sooo the other day we were stopping by to see him and we had just arrived and were chatting outside with him when his wife (who has never liked us and never participated and never even really looked in our eyes when we say hello to her to be nice) comes up from behind him (and it was night so I didn´t see what she had) annnnd she throws a bucket of water on me. On us, but I received 95% of it. Oh man, it was horrible! Everyone on the street saw and Padua went inside and they were yelling and we stepped a little ways away from his house and I honestly couldn´t believe what had happened! Soo a few minutes later Padua came out and apologized for her and he was really upset but I assured him all was well and we agreed to meet at the chapel from now on. But yeah, I´m fine! It was the end of the night and so we walked home (I maybe shed a few tears then but I´m fine :) ) and I took a shower and we let our zone leaders know but all has calmed down now :) 
The good news is that we are teaching so many great people! Satan is really working on our investigators but we´re working harder!!! This just proves to me that this is the true Church because Satan is trying so hard to prevent those we´re teaching to progress but he won´t win! 

- Sister Parks

Monday, November 30, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - Goodbye November!

Hellooooooooooooooo everyone!!!!

How was Thanksgiving?! I totally didn´t even remember it was Thanksgiving until the next day hahaha actually I thought it was the week before soooo that´s embarrassing lol
Well this week was crazy! Monday Sister Alvarado packed her bags and we went to the mission office to drop her off :,) I hung out there with other missionaries who were killing their companions (when you leave the mission, you die. when you´re companions with a companion going home, they´re dying and you´re killing them lol i know it´s weird) and we´re there until like 6 (when p day ends) so the assistants finally told us, "transfers won´t happen today, you´ll get your companions tomorrow." So they paired us off - me and Sister Ximenes went back to my area for the day until we got a call saying our companions arrived. Sister Ximenes was adorable! She arrived with me when I came to Brazil but she´s Brazilian so she was fresh out of the MTC so she has 4 months. But anyways! We hung out in my area for a day and the next day we get a call and they told us who our companions would be and that we need to go meet up with another pair of sisters and blah blah blah yeah. So we all meet at the bus terminal and Sister Ximenes left me to go back to her area with her new companion. I stayed with another sister who still didn´t have her companion like me in her area. Well, her companion arrived that night. So we were in a trio for a bit. The next morning I got a call saying my companion had finally arrived!! Wooh!! She was serving in Interior (the country, and was super far out). So I´m not training! Her name is Sister R. Santos and she´s been out 15 months! I may be killing another companion GAH! But she´s awesome and is a hard worker! We´ve been meeting a lot of new people in the area trying to find more people to teach! The other day we had a miracle! My planner had fallen out of my bag and I hadn´t noticed until later. So as we're walking back to our house, a guy stopped us in the street and described my planner and asked if we had one like that and we were like yes!! Turns out he had been taught by missionaries a ways back and had a date for baptism and everything but it fell through!! So we asked if he would like another date and he was like, "I would love that!!!" So we put him on date and have started to teach him and it´s awesome!! There can be miracles!!!
This week Anderson (our wonderful friend leaving next month to Argentina) had a going away party and he asked me to sing Amazing Grace so I did! I have a video but I don´t have time this week to send it I´m sorry I have 2 minutes left but I´ll send it next week! A guy in our ward who plays the flute played along with me and made me miss you Mom!!!!! He lives below us and sometimes in the morning he plays the flute and awwwwww mannnn it makes me miss you!!


- Sister Parks

Monday, November 23, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - Ch ch ch ch changes!

Hello family!! Happy Thanksgiving last Thursday! I totally forgot it was Thanksgiving until I heard someone say "Black Friday" on a radio on the street the Friday after! I thought about you guys all getting together with the family and how it´s probably nice and cool outside and I bet Mom´s wearing adorable sweaters!! Made me a little nostalgic haha but not homesick! I just wish it would cool down here, too! Haha but November and December are the hottest months here I was told sooo that´s not happening anytime soon! Haha! Well, I bet everyone's preparing for Christmas now! I bought a few things for you guys to send but I don´t think I can get it sent today because of Sister Alvarado leaving and I have to go with another set of sisters until my new companion arrives so I won´t have any free time today but I´ll try and get it sent next p-day and hopefully it´ll arrive before Christmas! I didn´t buy individual gifts, I´m sorry, the things I did buy specifically are only because I ran into them and thought of that person! I promise I wasn´t picking favorites :) 
This week was good! We ended the week with a baptism yesterday!!!!! Padua was baptized! When he came up out of the water he had the biggest smile on my face - it reflected mine! He´s a great guy who really wants to change and has accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ in his life because he knows it´ll help him and bless his life! I know this too! The gospel is true! 
We´re also progressing with this couple, Maria and Laudeberto, who are great! They said they would come to church yesterday - she asked what to wear and everything - but I don´t think they showed up! I say I don´t know because it was stake conference and there were lots of people there! 
With Thiago - we´ve given him some time to breathe but we still stop by every other day and ask if he´s prayed about his baptism (he hasn´t - ugh!). But I know one day he will be baptized and it will be glorious! ("One day I will climb over your wall of anger and it will be glorious!" Quick what movie?? Not sure if the words are correct sorry! haha) I uploaded the pics of the baptism and a few videos with the monkeys!! Now I want videos from yáll!! :) 
Sister Alvarado is leaving me today :((( I´m very sad and a little nervous to be taking over the area with a new companion! I don´t think I´ll be training but I think I´ll be senior companion. It´s very likely that next transfer I´ll be training though haha so that´s not scary at all! Haha no it´s all good. Sometimes during meetings I think, "This is easy, any other American could understand that sentence" or whatever, but then I think, "No some don´t even know the word hello", you know?? I´m understanding so much and it´s such a blessing!! When I still struggle to say something, I think of another way to say it, and the people understand me! 

I´m so blessed to be here and I´m so blessed to be a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ. I love Him and this gospel and I´m so grateful for the blessings and knowledge it brings into our lives. I know I can live with my amazing family after this life. Death is not the end. There is life after this life, and it can be with God, Jesus Christ, and our families if we choose to follow Him - Our Savior. 

- Sister Parks

Monday, November 16, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - It´s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

But it´s not beginning to feel like it, that´s for sure! I swear the past few days have been hotter than Hades! I don´t know how people can live here with ONE SEASON! Actually, yes, I know. They go to the beach often. That´s the difference between them and me! Haha! But there are a bunch of people decorating their little Christmas trees and putting up lights - it´s adorable! And making me a little sad haha but I´ll get to talk to yáll for Christmas so yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, this week ended a little sad! Thiago didn´t pass his baptismal interview on Friday but Elder interviewing him said that if we came to church on Sunday he would come again to interview him so that Thiago could be baptized but when we passed by Sunday morning Thiago wasn´t there :( So when we passed by later at night he said he didn´t go because he doesn´t want to be baptized right now. That was a real sucker punch in the heart for us. You guys don´t even know how - he is SO great! And he KNOWS this is the right path! We´ll leave him alone for a day or two then talk to him again later in the week to see if he changes his mind or not. We hope he does!!! Sister Alvarado really wants to see him be baptized before she leaves!! This is her last week! Which means I´ll be taking over the area soon! AH!
We also have another awesome investigator Padua who´s come to church 2 times on his own and he´s so great! He´s going to be baptized this Sunday!! WOOH!
LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Sister Parks

Monday, November 9, 2015

Messejana, Brazil - picture's worth a thousand words

 Anderson making us pancakes! hes a member and we love his family. 
He leaves next month to Argentina for a mission!
Us with pancakes in the shape of A and P
 the district
our tags with pretty flowers
 selfie of me
 me and Sister Alvarado
us and Anderson lol - the sign means beleza which is like great more of less lol
 us and an investigator Thiago who will be baptized this week!! He made us a cake haha
he also gave us these hats haha
selfie in the bathroom at church haha