Monday, May 25, 2015

North Orem, UT - What is up everybody?!

Quick what movie?? (Answer at bottom of email)

Well, the Payson Temple open house is officially over! The last day was last Saturday. I was kinda sad even though I had the temple video memorized and my feet hurt from standing in the reception tent for long hours. Haha but honestly, it was a really weird first transfer but also so great! I got to meet probably thousands of people (not all of them of course) and it was so cool to meet all these people - everyone and their stories. I also ran into lots of people who were from Texas, served missions in Texas, had kids serving missions in Texas, had visited Texas, had served in Brazil or who were from Brazil or mission parents who had kids in Brazil!
Probably the best thing about the Payson Temple open house was all the sisters I got to meet and get to know. I got close to so many sisters in our mission that I probably would have never met or gotten to know as well as I did without the temple open house! There's one sister who was even from Austin! She's from south Austin though haha so we would have never crossed paths. She lives in the Oak Hills Stake.
Also, this whole mission is filled with Texans! I would guess like almost half of us are from Texas so that's been super fun!
So anyways, when our last shift ended on Saturday, we were all in the break room with our iPads and took pictures together (see pics below)!! It was so sad but I'm so grateful for that experience! Also I've fallen in love with the Payson Temple and I never thought I'd want to be married in a Utah temple but now I don't know!! I'm torn!! Haha good thing I don't have to think about that right now!
This week I got.... (drum roll)....... MY IPAD!!! So now whenever I get an email I can read it right then and there! So everyone email me throughout the week ;) I still can't respond till Pday though FYI! They are so nice. I thought I wouldn't get too accustomed to them (and I didn't want to because I obviously won't have them in Brazil) but omg I'm already in love! And when I mean I love it I mean for missionary work! It is SO nice to be able to look up people's records, what they've been taught, addresses, looking up referrals, looking at our wards' area book (which is great since we cover 15 wards!!) as we're out and as we're thinking about who to visit! It's so nice; I'm gonna miss them for sure in Brazil! It'll be incredible the day every mission has iPads. They are a huge blessing.
This week I had some awesome visitors at the temple!! I saw my Holls!!!!!!! (Holly Taylor for those of you who are not familiar with her nickname). I was standing at the reception tent doors (after you go through the temple), and I saw Brooke and her fiancé and who do I see trailing along behind them? Holly!! I legit yelled her name and ran to her and we hugged and I got a little teary but it was so fun to see her!! Working the temple and being able to see people I know has been a blessing, too. It may seem like that would be bad but it wasn't even hard saying bye to them or distracting! I was just so happy and grateful to see them again! So thanks for everyone who came and spotted me and took a picture for my family! And of course for giving me words of comfort and advice. It's still hard being out but seeing everyone reminded me of how loved I truly am!
Also I've decided to grow my hair out on my mission. I can hear Grandma Longmire cheering right now hahaha! My teacher from the MTC, Irmã Kimble said that someone in Brazil asked if everyone in America braided their hair every day because she always had a side braid hahaha so that'll be me too!
So on Sunday's President usually likes for us to go to 2 sacrament meetings. So we went to 2 Sunday schools and they were both on the same track for lessons and that week was the prodigal son! I loved the lessons so much and it reminded me of the conference talk this past April from Elder Nielson titled "Waiting for the Prodigal". I just love the advice he gives for us as members and how to act with those who have fallen away from the church. We are just to love them! We can't force anything on them because we all have agency! We all can decide for ourselves what paths we want to take for our lives. It's not until we decide for ourselves that we want something more, that we have that desire for ourselves to find out the truth. That's when we have our own conversion. So the prodigal son parable is located in Luke 15. It talks about a son who took his inheritance from his father and spends it all. He soon becomes starving and thinks about how his father's servants back home have enough to eat and here he is, starving and was given a good inheritance and life. He humbles himself, repents, and returns back home. What I love though is that he doesn't go back home to ask for a meal, still arrogant and selfish. He prepares what he's going to say to his father before he returns which was, "I am no longer to be called thy son, make me one of thy servants". He could have returned home, asked for a meal, more money and honestly, his father would have been happy to see him either way! But he returns, humbled and repented, and his father sees him approaching because he was waiting for the son to return. When his son says his speech, his father doesn't even acknowledge it. He runs to him, kisses him, and rejoices in his return. The father represents our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father will take us in any condition. He will always rejoice when we turn to him. I know He loves each and every one of us and is always waiting, watching, and loving us, and He's always there for us, in any condition.

Eu sou muito grato por vocês. Eu sei que este evangelho e este igreja e verdadeiro. Eu sei que Deus ama vocês!!

Eu amo vocês!!!!

- Sister Parks

[it's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs]

Monday, May 18, 2015


I received Mom's first and was pretty confused when I saw it an order from a Sports place haha we all know I don't do sports! But then I opened it and saw my CHACOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THEM THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! They're going to be the BIGGEST blessing in Brazil haha!
Last Tuesday we had some time for p-day activities so we got permission to go to TARGET! I bought a new purse because I desperately was in need of something bigger. So I have a new bag!! You can send me my red wallet now! So that was my birthday present to myself haha.
So I'll go in order with my birthday day. We worked at the temple on my birthday in the morning so I go and one of the sisters I've gotten close to, Sister Heninger, brought me a donut! Then I found out it was another Sister's birthday! Of course, right? Add that to my list of 10+ people I know with my birthday! Haha jk it was fun! Then we came back and had a dinner appointment. On our way to our dinner appointment, it happened to be pouring out, so we were walking with our umbrellas and a lady pulled over and asked if we needed a ride! So we accepted and got in and learned a little about her. She shops around and finds good finds and then re-sells them online! So she had just gone shopping that day and had gotten found these adorable scarves from the brand FREE PEOPLE for like 4 bucks!!! And she had gotten a few, so she both gave us one! It's a little big and I don't have anything to wear it with though and I won't need it for Brazil, so I'll probably send it home for you mom ;) So then we had dinner with a lady who legit looks like Natalie Portman. She was gorgeous. Anyways, she went to culinary school so we made a yummy shrimp (you heard me!) and tortellini dinner and a cake for my birthday! She was very sweet! Then we taught some lessons and then went over to Ruth's and she lives with her sister Vicki and they had made a cake, too! They knew it would be my birthday though so they had prepared and had asked what my favorite cake and ice cream was. It was very nice! They even got me a card! So I was treated very well!!
I also got a letter from Hilary (thanks I love personal mail!!) and her package!! Thanks for the goodies and the cards are SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obregada! (Thank you!) Then yesterday I received Taylor's package!!!! She was also very sweet by sending me some birthday goodies, a new shirt (yay for new clothes!), a Captain America t-shirt, and makeup!! And oh my gosh, thank you for the pictures.
SISTER KIRKENDALL GOT HER VISA!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!?! She got a call from the mission office and they informed her and she immediately came to tell me (we were both at the temple) and I totally started to cry!! Out of happiness! It's so real now, you know?! She's going to Brazil!! She leaves June 8th because that's what works for Fortaleza. I want to get mine too and go with her because how fun would that be?? But I will also be patient and will be where ever the Lord needs me!
Anyways, this week I really learned a lot about Christ. He is our ultimate example; He was perfect in every sense of the word. He had no sin, yet He was baptized. He was baptized because His Father commanded that He should be to set the example for us. Don't we follow Him in every other sense as well? Don't we try to be good people and to do the right thing? Baptism is just another part in following Him! Baptism is so crucial. It is the only way we can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I also learned a lot about Christ-like attributes, especially patience and hope. Having patience can be so hard, in anything! When we're going through struggles or hard times, it can be so easy to think that we're being punished, when really, it's a learning experience! That can be so hard to understand. We want out of these hard times, but we need to take a step back and look at what He might be trying to teach you. We have trials and hard times to help us grow stronger and to be able to face the next trial with a better attitude and knowledge.
In my reading I'm in 3 Nephi where Jesus comes to the Americas. I'm trying to finish the Book of Mormon this week! I can tell you all that if you read the Book of Mormon, you can grow a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ and His gospel. And like I tell the people we're teaching, the Book of Mormon does not override the Bible in any way! The Book of Mormon is ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ. It testifies of Him, His Atonement, and His life. I know He lives and I'm so grateful every day for the His sacrifice for ME. If we look, we can see how the Atonement works in our lives every day. Because of the Atonement, we are able to be made clean. We are able to repent of our daily sins, and be forgiven. Through the Atonement, we are able to have our burdens relieved. We are not supposed to go through our hard times alone! Because Jesus Christ took on all of our sins, He knows our pain. If we turn to Him, He can comfort us. I know He can. I am so grateful for Him. Seeing Him work in the lives of those I teach testifies to me every day how real He is. He really is there, and He really wants to help us. If we just turn to Him, and ask in prayer, and read our scriptures we can feel that comfort, peace, and love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us!
Well, I love you all and am so grateful for everyone who wrote me this week! I'm so grateful for everyone's prayers and support and love! I couldn't do this without you guys! Talk to y'all next week! EU AMO VOCES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Sister Parks
My companion loves minions too!
"Texas donuts" hahahaha

Monday, May 11, 2015


That's right, I will no longer be a teenager! I'm hittin the big 2-0 this Thursday! My companion has been telling everyone my birthday is this week so I think I haaaave two people making me cakes? Haha it'll be a good day, for sure! I'll be sure to take pictures to send next week!
Well, yesterday was the BEST because I got to skype my wonderful family!!!!!!!!!! There was nothing better than seeing their faces! I'll have to send the screenshot I took of all of us (just ignore my tear stained face - we were saying goodbye, okay?!).
Well, this week an awesome thing happened!! We got a referral from Church headquarters and those you have to contact asap, like that day. So we knocked and it was this woman from Jersey (yes she had a Jersey accent!) with her two kids and she was like, "Yeah I just want to know more about the church!" She wants her kids especially to get into good stuff. We were so pumped but trying to keep it cool haha so yeah, we'll hopefully be teaching her and her kids the first lesson this week!!
For those of you wondering about my visa status, my mother told me yesterday that my FBI clearance which I had been waiting on has gone through! I don't know what that means for my visa/how long my visa take, but there's nothing in the way now of Salt Lake trying to get my visa through! Keep it in your prayers!
This past week it was raining a lot! All I could think was someone must to have prayed or fasted for all this rain! It even hailed once! We were holding our umbrellas very close haha I swear there were a few times it was going to turn inside out. We were in an apartment complex where we have a lot of less actives that we teach there so we were running to and from everyone's places that we know of to stay out of the rain haha!
We also got to take one of our less actives through the Payson Temple open house this week which was awesome! Her name is Ruth, and she's this hilarious 64-65 year old lady! She's been trying to quit smoking (started when she was 13!), and has been doing a lot better. I think going through the temple gave her an extra push! She really wants to go through the temple one day and do baptisms for the dead. Seeing her face when we entered the celestial room - I swear her eyes lit up! That room is SO gorgeous! That was a really cool experience. There are pictures online of the exterior and interior you guys should look at!
Sorry I can't think of anything else to say because I talked to the family yesterday and told them everything!

- Sister Parks

We had a dinner appointment with the "Spanish" sisters! And the house had an adorable bunny!
Family Skype picture!

NOTE FROM HILARY: By way of explanation, Hannah was able to skype from her companion's iPad which isn't capable of multiple people in a skype call. So we had Taylor and Matt (in Washington) on Mom's iPad so everyone could see Hannah :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

North Orem, UT - THE UTAH LIFE

Hi family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited to finally email you guys - I have so much to tell you!!!!!!!!!

So I made it to Provo! We got to meet the President and his wife and learned a lot about the Provo Mission (which is the biggest mission in the world so there's that). He obviously addressed the numbers, and I was surprised to find out that although there are lots of members, there are lots of less-actives/non members. In fact, it's about 50/50. Anyways, a lot of people we teach are members but are less actives so it's been interesting to see the difference in how we teach here than how I learned in the MTC (besides speaking Portuguese of course!).
Anyways, then we had a big transfer meeting, and we introduced ourselves in front of everyone. Then the mission president told us where we'd be serving and our new companion! So I am innnnnnnnnnn Orem! Hahaha but it's actually North Orem so I don't know the area or anything! And guess what?! Sister Kirkendall got called to the same area!!!!!! We see each other all the time!! It's awesome! We literally run to each other just about every day. She got put with the Spanish sister and is in a Spanish area!! I feel so bad for her!! That would freak me out and really mess up my Portuguese even more than usual.
So it started off a little rocky just because I was really scared and separated from Sister Kirkendall :( but my new companion is pretty cool! Her name is Sister Diuguid (pronounced Do Good!). She's from Kentucky and has been out 6 months. She's been really sweet in helping me with my language study. I almost always pray in Portuguese because I heard from some apostle that if you pray every day in your language, you'll never lose your language! How cool is that? Anyways, so I have an hour every day to do language study but it sucks being by myself. Sister Diuguid and Sister Kirkendall's companion are trying to see if we could meet up so that Sister Kirkendall and I can study together which would be awesome! Umm so we live with a member who is a legit cat there's that. But the cats are usually upstairs with her, and we close our door every time we leave so the cats won't get into our room. So I haven't had any allergies so far which has been awesome! But she's very nice.
One main cool thing that you probably already know from the pictures is that we're working the Payson Temple open house!! Literally almost every day! We're assigned 8-hour shifts. This is how it works: Visitors start at the chapel across the street where there's a bunch of video rooms, and we just say our speech at the beginning: we're going to watch a video about temples....etc etc etc. Then we dismiss them, they go through the temple, then there's a reception tent after with a replica Christus and a photo booth (did y'all get my pic??). So all the sisters in the Provo Mission work there. So this is literally the most unique first transfer EVER! My companion feels so bad because it's so crazy and different and messes with our schedule, my language study, 12 week (another study hour in the morning that's for trainers/trainees that we do for a missionary's first 12 weeks). It's been hard rescheduling appointments with our investigators and less actives! But it's super fun. Most of the time. The video room is my least favorite because I've seen the video about 30+ times now haha but it's good. So yeah, we switch from the video room to the tent, but we don't work in the temple. But we have gone through and WOW it's so gorgeous!! If anyone visits, ask some sisters if I'm there! Not everyone knows me yet, but they might! And they could tell you where I am :) I've run into Alina, the Wikle's, and Hilary's last companion in Phoenix!! It was so cool making that connection haha she even tried to call Hilary when she was with me.
Anyways, being in Orem/Utah in general is very different. It's funny I'm not used to being so loved. For example, one night we were walking home and a car pulls over right next to us, and my first thought is AH KIDNAPPERS WE'RE GONNA DIE but my companion's just like, "Oh they're going to ask us if we need a ride!" And they did. Should've known hahaha. But yeah, I can't tell you how many times people have pulled over and asked if we need rides. So funny. Also, for our first dinner appointment we accidentally had 2! Hahaha there's a Utah mission for you! We also have iPads, and they use Facebook (not currently but it'll be up again soon). I don't have an iPad yet but I will get one in a few weeks and won't have to buy it like everyone else. Also we don't have a car, we have bikes..... my companion said she'd like to ride bikes because it's faster but she won't make me. We tried the other day, and I fell over twice so ha....ha.... yeah I hate bikes.
Most of the people we're teaching are less actives and have been taught for a long time but wow they're all so great! Almost all of them are so great in that they know what they should be doing, and how to be better, it's just doing it. But they're all so nice and always letting us come in, come back, and I just love them all already! Teaching is honestly when I feel best. It's still hard being out in the field but working the temple is a nice break. Well, not always nice. I almost pulled a Hilary the other day and almost fainted......ha ha....  Okay, so we were standing at the opening of the tent, welcoming people as they came in. It was a really hot day and I didn't have much for breakfast or have my water on me. After a few hours my back and feet were naturally hurting but I thought it was just from standing. Then I felt really bad so I went into the tent and sat on a bench. My vision was really bright when I first walked in because it was so bright outside and so dark inside. So I was sitting on a bench and I was so embarrassed because so many people were around I was getting super hot and sweaty and I felt super faint, so then I went behind and sat down behind this stand that had pamphlets on top to hide myself. But this woman saw me and saw I wasn't looking so good and she's was like "Are you okay?! Can I get you anything? I live like 6 minutes away, can I take you back and you can rest? I'll bring you back!" Haha I was thinking she totally has her own missionary out right now. But I was like no that's okay, then she was like, "Do you want me to get a sprite??" So I was just like sure that would great! I just thought she had one in her car but like 15 minutes later, once my companion left to grab my lunch and water and came back and I was feeling better, she comes back with a to go cup of ice and a bottle of sprite! She was soo sweet. She again offered her house for me to rest and get some A/C hahhaa but yeah, super nice. Another woman saw me and gave me a string cheese. So nice! But yeah, I didn't faint!!!! Close, but not quite. Haha.

Sorry if I've forgotten anything but there's a little gist of my first week!!



- Sister Parks

Our last week there was a mouse in our room!!! We discovered it after gym one time and we have the FUNNIEST video - I'll have to send the SD card home so y'all can watch the whole thing hahhaha omg it was hilarious! It was under MY BED and we slowly, painfully pulled every single bag out from under the bed and it never moved till THE LAST ZIPLOC BAG hahahaha 
Here's a pic of us all posing with my bed and the mouse hiding underneath
Sister Irrizary got donuts! District selfie!
With our MTC Zone Presidency
 Last day with Irma Kimble!! :( We love her!
Last day with Irmao Workman!!!! :((((((((
Irmao Workman pose hahaha
Map picture!
With both missions!
Some of the girls from district a week behind us! Didn't get them all but love them!
Last district pic :( 2:30 a.m. sending them off for Billings, Montana :( 
I totally cried hardcore when we left them...I love these guys so much! 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sighted in Payson!

Today our friend Alina sent us a picture of her and Hannah at the new Payson Temple open house!
We look forward to hearing what Hannah has to say on Monday!