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"!
EU AMO VOCES!!!!!!
Talk with y'all soon!!!
- Sister Parks