Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Arrival in the Provo Mission!

We received an email from Hannah's new mission president today with the following pictures! We'll hear from her on Monday with more information!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

MTC Provo - Heading out!!!!!

Hey guys!! I just wanted to send y'all a quick email before we leave! It's 4:03 here right now, and we have to be in the travel office at 4:30 where someone from the Provo mission will pick us up! We took a look at the Provo mission boundaries and WOW it's so big!! I could be all the way in Alpine! Anyways, we're all packed up and ready to go! I'm excited but nervous! I'm actually leaving the MTC and actually going out in the field!!! Ahhhh!!
I can't wait to talk with y'all on Mother's Day!!!

The past few days have been awesome!! One of the highlights was the Departure Devotional. At the very beginning one of the MTC Presidency counselor asked for those who got a reassignment to raise their hand. So obviously my little district raised our hands. Then he asked us to stand up. And we look around and we're the ONLY ONES!! In this huge room!! Then he talked directly to us! It was awesome! Haha. He just told us that although this wasn't where we had planned to go originally and wasn't where the Lord originally planned to send us, because of governments and today's world, we were reassigned. But he told us, "Just know that all of your pictures and papers went to the 12 again this past week, and your reassignment was pondered over just like a normal mission assignment is." Anyways, it was super cool! Little embarrassing haha. 
We also had an awesome devotional Sunday night! The Brother who came wasn't an apostle or anything; he was just a stake president from New Jersey..? His name was Vai something. Sorry I have nothing with me!! [it's Vai Sikahema]
Anyways, he was the first Polynesian to get a scholarship to play football at BYU. Now he's a new anchor. But anyways, that wasn't why he came. He told us to put away our notes and pens and just listen and enjoy. And it was awesome! He literally just told stories about missionary moments and most of them weren't even from his mission! Just his everyday life! It was so fun to listen to, especially because almost after every story he asked "Can this person stand up...?" and he had brought the people from his past and his stories! Not all of them of course; not every one was converted but it was still so touching! He was an awesome speaker and was so funny! It was a nice change and a fun night. After that we went to watch "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar because I wanted to watch it before I left and wow! So good! Really made me understand the Savior more, how we should apply His attributes to our lives, and how important it is to put off the natural man. Turn outward! If you haven't read or heard the talk, give it a listen! It was a talk he gave in the MTC on Christmas some years ago before the age change. 

We said bye to our teachers yesterday. Irmao Workman and Irma Kimble :(((((( We took pictures but my camera's packed up right now! Sister Smith, Irizzary, Elder Meredith and Pacheco all left at 2:30 this morning. Me and Sister Kirkendall got up to send them off. We took one last picture as a district :( I'll miss those guys so much! I was kind of a mess sending them off. But we're off to do bigger and better things, and we'll see each other again!! 

Anyways, not much time but I love y'all so much!!!! Keep me in your prayers tonight!! Everything's changing!! 

- Sister Parks

This is us cleaning the showers for our last service! We had this awesome gun
that squirted soap then a big hose to spray it down!

A note from Hilary: My mission president and his wife, President and Sister Taylor, currently live in Provo and serve in the MTC. They've been wonderful and tried to look out for Hannah whenever they stop in. On Sunday, I received this picture of Hannah, Sister Kirkendall, and President Taylor with this note: 
"Look who we saw again today! She is so excited and happy... She's headed off to Provo waiting her Visa."

Hannah will now have normal preparation days [when she emails] on Mondays. We look forward to hearing more from her and her new area soon! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015



Here are some clues!

I will not be flying on a plane to this place.

I will not be taking a train to this place.

I will not even be taking a bus to this place.

I'M GOING TO PROVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me and Sister Kirkendall have been reassigned to Provo, Utah!!!! Elder Meredith, Elder Pachecho, Sister Smith and Sister Irizzary are all going to Billings, Montana! They leave Tuesday morning at 2:30 and we leave next Tuesday at 4:30 pm!

Soooo how I'm feeling? As crazy as it seems to me now, I will love Provo! It's now my mission! I'm feeling awesome! What better place could I be sent to?! The people love us here, just like Salt Lake City - there's tons of work, I'll have access to LDS stores with mission appropriate outfits, and there will be so many Brazil RMs or people from Brazil! It's going to be awesome! The Lord wants me here in Provo, and there are people that need ME here! This is His work!
I probably won't be able to call (since apparently calls in airports aren't even really allowed - people just do it). But yeah! We head out Tuesday! If I don't get to call you guys, we'll be talking very shortly for Mother's Day!!! Yay!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU GUYS SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Com todo meu amor,
Sister Parks

Tuesday, April 21, 2015



Reassignments this week!!!! Usually they'll come Wednesday or Thursday but they could be late and come Friday! No matter what though, we've all decided to wait and open with Irmao Workman. I'll take pics! I also believe we'll be able to email y'all to let you know where I'll be going and then I get to call in the airport!! So either tell me who to call and the number or turn on the house phone's ringer wayyy up!!! I think my itinerary will also be emailed to y'all but I'm not sure, I may just have to let y'all know when I find out more and email y'all.
I'm nervous to leave but excited to go! Haha it's crazy that I'll actually be out there around people who DON'T know my religion and I'll have to be teaching and talking to them for real!! At least it will (most likely) be in English!! That will be a relief. Depending on how long missionaries are out in the states, we will be sent to the Brazil MTC for 2 weeks when we finally get our visas so that we can touch up/re-learn Portuguese!! So crazy, right?? We had two sister get their visas and leave this morning to finish at the Brazil MTC!
So sad Trenton is leaving me!! Not that I ever see him haha. But every time we do our Sunday temple walk or have gym time outside (which is now open as of yesterday!) I look for the green truck possibly driving by haha. Speaking of the truck, what's going to happen to it if Trenton is flying home?
Also, so jealous of the thunderstorms!! SO COOL! It SNOWED Wednesday... THANKS UTAH. Elder Meredith wanted to be in a snow picture with a sad Texan hahahaha I love how it turned out.
This week was very eventful!! Saturday we had a substitute for Irma Kimble, and her name was Irma Cowan. She's important because we saw Irmao Workman talking with her one time and we were so excited!!! As she taught us she just confirmed to us how perfect she is for him. So when he came later in the day we told him to ask her out hahaha. Every time we do stuff like that he just laughs and says, "Voces..." hahaha which is just "you guys..."
Thennnn Saturday night, we're packing up to head back to our residence to go to bed, and one of our sisters came hobbling up to us and asked where the clinic is. We're like "uhhhhhh what's wrong with your foot?!!" She had had it propped up on the bar underneath a chair and slid forward and it somehow twisted! As we're talking to her she starts to feel woozy so we're like AH and get her a chair. We use the red phones in the hallway that call the front desk, and we ask what we should do since the clinic isn't open. They tell us to go to the front desk where we can get a bag of ice. Our wonderful Elders run to the front desk, then the cafeteria, and back with a bag of ice. We ice her ankle for a bit, then  see if she can hop back. However, our building is pretty far, and she can't make it far because her ankle really hurts. Since we're not that strong, we decided it was okay for the elders to help prop her up and carry her back. We still don't make it far because we realize it's pretty serious, and she can't just ice it for the night and next day. So we sit her down on a bench and the elders run back to the front desk. Not long after, two medics come with a wheel chair! So then we left her and her companion with the medics.
Later, back in our residence changing into our PJs we realized, "Oh... our branch president will want to know about this!" Well the only way we can get a hold of our branch president is going to the front desk and asking to call him. (Even though we have a phone, all it can do is pick UP. Ridiculous, I know haha) So we quickly change into semi-normal clothes and run to the front desk. Turns out our sisters are there - Sister Rigel in a wheelchair! She wasn't able to see a doctor, so they just gave her instructions, medicine, and crutches. We're able to call our branch president and tell him the news. Thennn this other branch president, who happens to be over the other Brazil/Portugal zone comes up and is like, "I'm a doctor!" (QUICK WHAT MOVIE?!) He takes a look at her foot, then asks for some Ace bandage and wraps it up for her!! It was so sweet! She's doing much better now though! No wheelchair, or crutches! But yeah, that was one eventful night. But I love the sisters so much I'd do it all over again! However, as of Sunday, we are released as sister training leaders! Only because the Branch President wanted to give the new sister training leaders two weeks to serve like we had before they too have to leave!
Yesterday while in class we noticed some commotion outside our window. So after class we went out and saw that there was a mama duck and a bunch of baby ducklings stuck in this area!!!! There were people already there in charge of getting them out so we saw a bin full of baby ducklings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were SO CUTE!!! We're totally thinking it was Fredtholomew's wife and children :')
This week has been so great!! One day was hard, but that's usual. I really feel like I've been progressing a lot in the language! Not close to being fluent of course, but I'm still happy! I've been working really hard this week memorizing all the tenses and the endings so that has been helping a lot! No big deal, but there's 3 tenses for the past! They're all slightly different, of course, and have rules for when to use them. But it's weird because in English we just have one past tense but we add other words to make them different. For example, "I would have...." is a whole tense. They have a whole tense for when you said "would" in a sentence. Crazy, right? Some funny Portuguese stuff is when you say "Bless you!", it's "Saude!" which literally means "Health!" haha. Also, there's a word for "thingamajig" hahahahah it's "joca" with an accent thing underneath the c. Portuguese is mainly hard but it's funny too! Also, to ask questions, they don't have words for like "Will" you.. or "Do" you.." or "Have" you... so you just have to say, "You read the Book of Mormon tonight?" or "You have a testimony?" Hahaha so funny when translating to English but it makes sense to them! Also, there's a tense called Command and it's very common in Brazil but in the US it can kinda be rude. But it's basically like how it sounds; you command or tell them to do something. Read the Book of Mormon. Pray to God. But it's not rude sounding there! So interesting, right? Going off that, people in Brazil are VERY open we've come to learn haha; they say what they are thinking, but they don't mean it in an insulting way! For example, they'll straight up tell you if you've gained weight or don't look good that day! Hahaha I'm sure I'll be getting a lot of those.

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful week!! To everyone who I haven't been able to respond to, I promise I'm getting your emails and reading them and I love them SO much!!! I'm sorry if you don't get a response though! My time is so limited but just know that I appreciate all the letters and prayers!!! I am so blessed to have you all in my life!!!!

Com todo meu amor,
Sister Parks

selfie pic with the district!! We're so sad thinking about leaving each other! We love each other!!
Sister Kirkendall and I coordinated yesterday! Much classier and stylish than straight up matching ;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

MTC Provo - The countdown has begun

Many kinds, actually. Countdown for when we're leaving, and a countdown for how many days our district has gone without a breakdown hahahahaha. We have it written on the top corner of our board. I doubt we'll ever make it past 5. 
Tomorrow I start my 5th week!! We will most likely leave in 2 weeks! We find out where we're getting assigned next week!!!! Then we usually leave Monday or Tuesday. We're so excited and nervous! The other Brazil zone had a district get their reassignments today and some are going to Florida! So cool, right?! I just want to go somewhere warm!
Some of the highlights this week were on Sunday night! Sunday for our devotional we had the BYU Men's Chorus come and guess what they sang?! PRINCE OF EGYPT!!! I was dyinggggg it was so good! They did 3 songs: Deliver Us, the plaque song, and There Can Be Miracles. Before they started though, a guy on a trumpet played the sisters lullaby song and WOW. It was so good. Nearly in tears by the end of it. That movie and that music. Did you know Hans Zimmer did that music?! It all makes sense now!!!! 
Then after devotional, there are a few things you can do Sunday night. You can either stay in your classroom and study/read, or you can attend some films. For example, Character of Christ (David A. Bednar's talk that is AWESOME), Joseph Smith Story, etc. Well, we went to watch Meet the Mormons. Now, I had heard of it but I had never seen it! And NOSSA! (that's what they say for oh my gosh in Portuguese). It was so good!! Seriously, even if you're not Mormon, it is an awesome movie!! It looks at members all over the world and goes into their story and their life and it is so inspirational! One awesome woman in Costa Rica is a boxer but also has two adorable little boys!! Anyway, she's my woman crush at the moment. The movie is soo good, I recommend it for anyone! And of course the last story hits you right in the feels about this girl's life and then her first son leaves on a mission and we're just all in tears by the end of it haha. GO WATCH IT!!
This week I also got to interview the senior sister companions which was awesome! I was shocked at the love I felt for the them, and the love that they felt back for me! When some of them said how much they look up to me and the others, I was shocked! We're only a week ahead of them but I was amazed at what I've already encountered and experienced while I've been here that I was able to tell them to better uplift them. They are all so great, so loving, and just want to be better, like we all do!
At the end of class one day, Irmao Workman had us all close our eyes and think about our first day here, and to think about how much we (couldn't) say. He said that he's seen how much we've grown these weeks and that he's so proud of us, but more importantly, that He is proud of us. It was nice to hear because I can be so down on myself because I may not know as much as the others, or need more time practicing to get things than the others, but compared to when I got here 4 weeks ago, I'm very proud of myself, too. It's crazy to me that I took 3 or 4 years of Spanish and never did well, and here I'm able to come up with sentences in PORTUGUESE that people can understand and feel the Spirit from! He is truly a miracle worker and everyone here is an example of that. 
Irmao Workman had noticed the other day when I was beating myself up over Portuguese, so he talked with me and said he sees the potential I have and the talents I have, and he knows I can speak the language. He told me that if I just go in full force in trying to study more, my language will go through the roof. He said that Heavenly Father knows I can do this. And it's true. I tell myself that every day. I was given this mission and this language for a reason. And most days that can be hard to understand, but He knows that I will be able to speak the language without any trouble, and I have complete faith in that.
In other news, life is good! For gym time I now play volleyball (finally got up the courage) so that's been really fun! I also got awesome packages this week from Hil and Holly Taylor! Thank y'all soooo much!!!!!
Sorry this is kind of short and sorry for no pictures! I need to be better at taking more every day. The only pictures I have are of our class duck hahaha. He's a duck we found outside our building where we usually go to sit on the grass and read. We call him Fred Tholemew. I drew a picture of him on the bottom corner of our board with his name hahaha
Just know that I love you all and appreciate all the prayers and love and support!!! I'm so blessed to have an awesome family and the best friends!!


- Sister Parks

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Ola familia!! WOW where did this week go?? We're starting our 4th week tomorrow. 4TH WEEK!! So much happened this past week where do I even start?
For starters, my district is now the OLDEST! The last district above us left!! AH! We don't feel like we know enough for the younger districts! We're all like, "Don't ask us anything we don't know!!" The 2 other districts only came a week after us so they're not far behind! But we're getting a new district this week that will have 6 ELDERS and 1 GIRL! But that's good because right now we only have 6 elders and 16 sisters in our zone! So the solo sister will be in a trio with some sisters in another district for some parts of the day, but will be in a class with all elders. Poor thing! 
Also some big news... SISTER KIRKENDALL AND I ARE SISTER TRAINING LEADERS! AH! Don't worry, we're not actually "training" them like they do in the field. Thank goodness haha. We'll just be tagging along with the zone elders (who are now Elder Meredith and his companion who came back (long story)) when welcoming the new district which is exciting! But mainly we just interview the girls, make sure they're doing well, report anything that they're struggling with, and just love them! And go to a lot of meetings.. BUT YAY GRATEFUL!
Now, General Conference!! How amazing was it this year?? I don't have my notes with me but I took sooo many and there were so many great talks. I loved how Saturday focused on how important the family is, and it just made me so grateful for my family!! Without y'all's support and encouragement and love I could never have the strength I have to be here. Also it made me so excited for the time when I'll be able to be sealed my own family (after the mish of course!)! And I loved how Sunday session was all focused on Christ and His Atonement. I loved loved LOVED Elder Holland's talk (please tell me I wasn't the only one crying..?) and then we sang "I Know My Redeemer Lives" and singing it with all the missionaries - WOW. I think we all felt how powerful that was. It's like, "We are all here right now because we all KNOW that He lives", and it was just really awesome. AND THEN President Uchtdorf gets up there and gives the most amazing talk on grace which I so appreciated because I've never really known what grace is, and so I really loved his talk and I learned a lot about His grace. I can't wait for all the talks to be put up online so I can read them and fill in my quotes that I wasn't able to complete while taking notes! While the elders were watching Priesthood session, we finally watched the General Women's Session which was really good!
Also... WE HAD A CONCERT AT THE MTC!! Sunday night, we had a surprise performance byyyyyy Vocal Point! They're a famous a cappella group from BYU, and it was so fun! It felt weird though because we were like, "is this allowed??" So we like clapped for the pop/fun ones then didn't clap for the hymns so yeah it was weird, but super cool. The MTC president and his wife didn't clap for anything haha we were like, "I bet they're regretting inviting them and getting us all riled up."
So yesterday we taught our investigator Jaime (our teacher Irmao Workman), and we had prepared a lot for the outline but we didn't have as much time to plan to practice what we were actually going to be saying in Portuguese, Soo I said my part in the lesson but a little later I would get halfway through a sentence and forget how to say the rest. Thankfully, my awesome companion saved me. But then at the end, I bore a BOMB testimony. Seriously, I have NO idea where it came from. Well, I do. It was all through the Holy Ghost. Anyways, it probably wasn't even that amazing, but it was long and I just testified that what we had said was true and that the Book of Mormon is true and that if he read it with his family that they would feel the peace and joy and the Spirit that it brings. And he always has questions that we don't know how to answer (in Portuguese) so I just also testified that we may not have all the answers, but God does and if we pray to Him, He WILL answer us. Slowly but surely I'm getting this!! 
Family! Your weekend sounded sooo fun! I'm so jealous you got to see everyone! Thank everyone who asks about me and prays for me!! They help so much for sure!! Send everyone my love! So sweet of Sister Wilkins to send you flowers, Mom!!!!! So thoughtful! And thanks for the Easter package Mom and the brownies Taylor!!!!!!!! We were overflowing with candy from all of our Easter packages hahaha. Tell DenBob he better not have anything to do with my FBI clearance!! We haven't gotten anything, I'm guessing? Thanks for the bluebonnet pictures!! So pretty! :') Oh and tell Aunt Lisa that Elder Quintanilla is going to my mission! Fortaleza East! My whole zone is going to Brazil. The new district are going to Campinas, Rio, Sao Paulo, Fortaleza, Fortaleza East, Florianopolis, etc.
As for me, I'm doing great! The weeks are now flying by - it's crazy!! Soon we'll be getting reassignments and headed who knows where! A lot of sisters in our zone have been going to Long Beach, so I hope they don't fill up so I can go there too!! Others have gone to Colorado, HOUSTON, Boston, but I want to go somewhere warm because I have no clothes for cold places! It's been so cold here!! It needs to warm up. Also, it snowed one day. I was like FOR REAL?? Thankfully I took cardigans but it's still cold! It gets pretty nice in the afternoon, but there's still a chill in the air. 
Anyways...loving all the Dear Elder letters!!!! Muita obrigada!! Oh yeah Dad, you said "love you mucho mucho (or however they say it in Portuguese)" so it's muito muito!! But what's so funny is that just earlier that day apparently our teacher told us only Americans say stuff like that haha. She said Brazilians can always tell if you're from America because we'll say "muito muito"!


Talk with y'all soon!!!

- Sister Parks