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]

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