Monday, September 28, 2015

Jose Walter, Brazil - hiiiiiiiiiiiii

Hello! hi! How´s it going?
I spent a lot of time reading emails so I don´t know how much I´ll be able to get written here!This week was tough, man! There were a lot of setbacks for us in our area that were hard, but it has just given us more motivation to work harder! We had a lot of people drop us and we had to stop teaching others who weren´t progressing. So this week we´ve been trying to meet new people to teach! There´s one adorable girl we started teaching from the English class who just loves us!
This week I have witnessed a miracle! I am understanding so much!!! I´m studying a lot to try and say more but mannnnnn Portuguese is difficult!! Do you know I haven´t cried since I´ve gotten here......? Isn´t that weird??? Still pressing forward!
Wooooow I have no time... I´m so sorry, but I really wanted to respond to some people.
Still working hard and loving the work! I´m soooo excited for Conference this week and President has asked us to go with 3 questions to be answered! I don´t know if I'll get to listen to the sessions in English.... I'm guessing not which is a little sad because I want to understand everything but it´ll still be great! This week President has asked us in our district meeting to study this talk about Christ and how we can know Him better, so we made a goal as a district to study the New Testament (which I already made of goal of reading (I'm in Luke and it´s awesome!)  and Jesus the Christ which I´ve never read before and I´m so excited to read it!!! I want to know Him better, I want to testify and have no doubt in my mind that He is my Savior! I know that He loves me, I know that He knows my pain and that He CAN help me. I have seen His hand in my life, especially here in Brasil! I am never alone.

I love you all so much and miss yáll a ton!!!
Amo vocês! 
- Sister Parks
pic 1 the tiny nutellas here!
pic 2 - #thezone

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jose Walter, Brazil - It's a scorching

Is that even a word? I´m sure it´s spelled wrong even if it is. Also, I apologize for my spelling errors. Every word I type is underlined in red haha so I don´t have auto correct to help me here! But yeah, it´s hot here! The other day someone said, "We have two seasons here. Hot, and very hot!" Haha and it´s true!
I forgot to mention in my email last week that we had Stake Conference the day before (so not last Sunday but the one before that)! President and Sister Fusco came (my mission president and his wife) and both talked. President Fusco basically told the members to stop feeding us so much and making us fat hahaha. He said that when we go home, we won´t get married if they continue to do so!! Haha so as usual, we usually have some members who just give us money, but two times this past week we had lunches fall through! So we kept blaming them on President Fusco hahaha but don´t worry, we didn´t go hungry!
So there´s this street in our area that is filled with a bunch of kids who are recent converts. They´re my favorites! This past week I had the idea instead of reading them a scripture (that they would shortly forget) we should see if they knew the articles of faith! They didn´t know them so some of them have started to memorize them! We write them down on paper and if they memorize 3, we buy them chocolate! We have this one adorable girl, Raissa, who is now on number 6! She´s so cute! Every time we see her she runs up to us and starts quoting the one she´s currently memorizing! Also the other day we were passing by and (side note - here in schools they call teachers Tia or Tio like how we say Mr or Ms) they started calling to us "Tia! Tia!" and they draggged us into one of the girl´s homes and there´s a cat on her couch cleaning her newborn baby! We then witnessed the birth of another kitten haha they were all freaking out ahahaha but I was too ;)
This week we met an awesome new investigator, Junior. He´s 15 and already has so much faith! He had an older brother who was baptized when he was a kid but passed away. But he told us experiences he´s had where his prayers were answered and Heavenly Father was really looking out for him. We invited him to be baptized but he said not right now because he doesn´t want to mess up again! We QUICKLY informed him that none of us are perfect and we still make mistakes every day, so hopefully he´ll come around! He´s an awesome kid though!
This week we also met an awesome 19-year-old guy named Zach! We were talking in the street with one of our former investigators (she didn´t want to quit smoking and drinking) and this guy on a motorcycle totally turns around and comes up to us asking about our church, our doctrine, and we´re like woooah woah take it easy! Lol not really, but we asked him his name, his age, and gave him a pamphlet, but he took off before we could get his address! Then, the other day we´re walking down the street and lo and behold, who drives up next to us?! Zach! He had more questions so we stepped off to the side in the shade and talked a bit and asked where he lived so that we could come and share our message that will answer all his questions! Buuuut he wouldn´t give it to us! He was a little wary haha but we we were like, "hey, we´re not stalkers! If you tell us you don´t want us to come by, we won´t!" But he still didn´t give it to us. So we invited him to the English class we were having that night and he said he´d come! Well, 7 pm rolls around (it now starts at 6 and ends at 7) and he shows up with a friend hahaha so he sat in for the end. Then the Elders talked to him a bit about the class; then they left. But when we walked out of the chapel with the Elders, they were there again and they asked when we have church! So the Elders told them about their sacrament meeting (I think he lives in their area) and on Sunday he and his friend were at church! Not our ward and I´m guessing not in our area, but I hope he starts taking the lessons with his friend! 
Gahh running out of time but this week I´was just so happy and so grateful for this time I have to be a missionary! This week I hit my 6 month mark and I found myself sad about that! Which is awesome! Haha the mission is hard, but it´s full of blessings! I have met so many amazing people here as well as in Provo. I´m so grateful for the chance I had to wait for my visa in the Provo Mission. I will always cherish those people and that mission in my heart! I´m grateful for my family and I really missed you all this week but I´m grateful for the knowledge we have that families are eternal! I love you all so much, I love my Savior and I know that this church is true! I´m grateful to be His missionary and to help do His work among these wonderful Brazilians!

Have an awesome week and eu amo voces!!!!!!!
- Sister Parks

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jose Walter, Brazil - Hello hello!

How´s my wonderful family doing? I so very much enjoy all your emails updating on how yáll are doing and what´s going on in your lives! If it wouldn´t freak yáll out I´d just read your emails and be done with email time! Alas, I know yáll want to hear how I´m doing, too. So, here goes.
Brazil´s Independence Day really wasn´t too eventful. We weren´t asked to go in early or anything, so we just went out like usual at night. If anything, the bar that we live a few houses down from seemed a bit more loud and crowded, but that´s about all I noticed! So funny it was the same day as Labor Day! Haven´t seen any signs yet for Olympics, Dad, but oh man, I´m excited for that!
This week we had a mission conference and the day before the assistants to the president called me and told me that President wants me to give the opening prayer............AHHHHHHH!! I freaked out but accepted and the next day butchered a prayer! Hahahaha no I´m sure it wasn´t that bad.... I hope. But it was great and President has the perfect mixture of humor and spirituality. He talked about death at the end and how we should think about death more often. If we were to die now, what would people think of us? And of course, he talked a lot about Christ and I´m just so grateful for my Savior! I truly know that He died for me and three days later, He was resurrected. I know that we will be resurrected too and that we´ll have the opportunity to live with Him and our Father and our families together forever! I´m so grateful for that. Yesterday we had an awesome meeting with the hilarious Nixon (2nd counselor to our bishop) and the ward missionaries and he basically called them all to repentance and told them they need to be finding people for us to teach haha it was great, though! I really think the work will pick up here which is awesome!
This week we had rain!!! Not a lot though and it usually goes back to being sunny by noon but yay for rain!! Sort of. The first day it rained was the day we had our zone conference and we had to walk a long ways to the chapel and of course, I wore my nicer shoes (not my chacos) because we usually dress up nicer for meetings and such, and oh my gosh it was miserable! The water just stayed in my shoes and every step I took I felt like I was going to slip and die!! Haha but the streets haven´t filled up like I´ve heard which is disappointing hahahaha jk.
The English classes were all right! I actually only went to one. And I wrote the wrong days last week (got them confused when translating). We have them Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 to 8:30. The first class we had a whopping 4 people! But it was cute and we just taught them the basics, like I, we, us, you, you all, them, and a little conversation. "What´s your name? My name is _____. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too. I am a student. I am a student, too." Hahaha but it was super fun! The second day there were only 2 people :( and the 2 American elders were already there before us so me and Sister Santos just went back to work. We´re going to move the time up though to be earlier so that we´ll hopefully get more people! So we´ll see how this week goes!
Gahh I´m sorry I can never remember what happens in the week!

I love you all so much and I truly truly truly felt all your prayers this week!!!! I was happy and had an awesome week and I know that´s because of yáll! The language is still tough but I´m really hammering at it during my language study and at night and I really think I´m improving!!!


- Sister Parks

the pic is of us and a member Luciano who joins us some days for visits haha he´s literally crazy but he knows everybody so he´s great! he reminds me of my good friend Matthew Podrebarac! shout out to you Matt, I love and miss you!!
Displaying IMG_0073.JPG

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Jose Walter, Brazil - I'm alive!

Hi family! Hope yáll didn´t freak out when I didn´t get to email yesterday! Yesterday was Brazil´s Independence Day so lots of places were closed! We actually managed to find one lan house open and rejoice, but we´re not even 10 minutes in reading the Mission Newsletter and the whole place shuts down! The guy couldn´t get it back up so we left. But it was all right because all the other missionaries were going to email today anyways!
Sooo we had transfers last week and I am still in Jose Walter with Sister Santos! Which I´m so happy about because up until now, I´ve moved every 6 weeks which is hard because that´s just when you learn to love the people and know your way around the area! However, the sisters we lived with are gone, and no one is replacing them! Their area was given to elders whose area was closed! We´re the only sisters in our zone now! Crazy!
This Sunday our wonderful, amazing investigator, Taina, was baptized!!! Gustavo baptized again, and I sang again! Haha! This time I sang "Come Follow Me" - all in Potuguese. Our hilarious 2nd counselor videoed me and I think he´s going to try and send it to you, Mom! He´s super funny too - every time he sees me he does the Spider-man web shooting hand thing because my name reminds him of Peter Parker hahaha! The baptism went very well, and Taina was glowing when she came out of the font! From day one, she accepted baptism and accepted everything we taught her. She reads the Book of Mormon twice every day and remembers all our lessons and has gained a testimony on it all! Did I mention she´s also 18? She has told us numerous times that she wants to change. It´s been so awesome seeing how the Lord has prepared her!
Thursday night was fun because the ward had a music and game night! Taina came as well as another one of our investigators, Ivo! Ivo is a great guy! He has a lot of questions but is super great! He also plays the sax! So he brought it to the night and played Hallelujah!! I DIED!! We had also told everyone that I would be singing but we ran out of time, and Sabrina and Darlan (the couple we had FHE with last week) were very upset hahaha so I promised them I´d sing in their house again!
Sunday was also super great because we had a lot less actives and recent converts at church!!
Best news ever.... I GET TO TEACH ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yup! Our zone leaders called us the other night and said that they´ve had a lot of people asking for English classes so we´re going to have English lessons Thursday and Friday night at the church! They said they invited 2 schools!! Me, and 2 other American elders in our zone will be the teachers! I´m a little nervous haha but so excited! We´re only supposed to invite investigators because if we told the wards it would get crazy! So I´ll let yáll know next week how it goes!!

Have a great week! Thank you guys for everything, I am so grateful for you all!!!


- Sister Parks

The 4 of us Sisters that used to live together! 
Sister Sanchez left home to Argentina and Sister Barbosa was transferred!
  With our wonderful friend Gustavo!
 Thursday night - ...
 Game and music night!
 Taina's baptism!
 New district! We took this picture today.
 They didn't tell us they were doing funny faces hahaha
 Food we eat when members treat us (and a typical meal in Brazil looks like this)
Fernando's baptism!
pastry things we get on p day that I loooove. (I promise I usually dont get 3 things but I wanted to try 
the desserts :)) The eaten one has chicken, the other chocolate, 
and the other is just a plain pastry, nothing inside, but it's sooooo gooooooooodddd