Monday, March 28, 2016

Messejana, Brazil - Happy Easter!

Fam bam!

Happy Easter!!! A family in our ward gave us a lot of chocolate and I still had chocolate from my 1 year mark soooo we have a lot to eat! 

Well folks, this week was the last week in the transfer. Yesterday we got the call that……..WE´RE BOTH STAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys, I was totally thinking President was ready to kick me out of Messejana but I´m staying another transfer!! Everyone was saying that I was out of there (but in a sad, they´ll miss me way lol) because I´ve now been here 6 months but I´m staying!!!! I was thinking too that I wouldn´t be staying because of how much time I have here, but inside of me I felt that my time wasn´t up. I´m so happy I´m staying!!!!!!!!!!! But oh man it´s gonna be rough the day I leave…..BUT let´s not think about that day, shall we??

So yesterday we got to watch the Women´s Conference!! I loved that President Eyring spoke to us again this year! I think he likes us the most ;) The videos were also super cute! I liked how they talked a lot about service because, that´s basically what we do every single day as missionaries! I liked how President Eyring said that the Lord is not only preparing the hearts of others that we´ll serve but also our hearts. We need to be ready and worthy to help and uplift others. Which brings me to the first talk by Sister Esplin who talked about how we need to be thinking more about others than ourselves because we can´t help anyone if we´re worried about ourselves and our own lives. One of the great things about the mission is that we really don´t have time to think about ourselves and our own problems because every second we´re always thinking about those we´re teaching and who we can help next and what they need.

This week we were blessed withhhhhhhhhh another baptism!!!!! The girl who was baptized is Patricia and she is 12 years old! It was really a miracle because up until the baptismal interview she wasn´t really sure about being baptized. She said that´s she´s very of the world and does bad things and we were like…. Patricia, we all mess up every day! We´re not perfect! She seriously didn´t believe that WE, me and Sister Takahashi, make mistakes. She also had a fear that she won´t stay strong, stay active, in the church but when she looked at members who don´t go every Sunday she said, oh no, if I was baptized I would go every Sunday! Haha so she´s already got the determination! So she had her interview with our district leader and she passed! And yesterday she was baptized J It was great because we combined with the other ward who meets in our chapel and the baptismal room was full of people from both wards!! And the young women were very sweet to Patricia in welcoming her J

I´m going to attach a photo here in this email to send to yáll because….IT´S TOO DANG COOL!!! Leko (Wellington)(my recent convert with Sister R. Santos) designed me and Sister Takahashi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sister Takahashi gave him a picture of us and he drew us!!! It´s the coolest thing ever J
I´m SUPER SUPER SUUUUUUPER excited for General Conference. I was thinking back to last year watching General Conference in the MTC J It was so great! And the October conference was amaaaazing. I´m positive this conference will be just as great as the others! I´ll be preparing some questions to be answered and you guys should too ;) I seriously can´t believe I used to not look forward to conference when I was younger but I guess that´s normal for youth. But seriously, any youth who are reading this….if you prepare questions to be answered, conference will be a much more enjoyable and spiritual experience for you! I promise J What are yáll looking forward to most?

Have a wonderful week everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you lots. Also, there´s a website called MissionTies that´s like DearElder but for the field!!! There´s a sister in our district who´s from Washington who literally receives like 10 letters every week because people write her through missionties! So it´s just an idea if you guys want to try that out! I love personal hand written cards, of course, but I don´t think why I haven´t received anything in weeks L Still no package or letters….but sometimes this just happens! I´ve had a lot of luck with the post service up until now haha but they´ll turn up J Remember, never write that a package has more than $20 dollars worth inside or I´ll be taxed a lot JThanks!!!!

LOVE YÁLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-          Sister Parks

Monday, March 21, 2016

Messejana, Brazil - March 21, 2016

Heyyyyyyy everybody!!

Well this week was fun! We´ve been meeting lots of great, new people to teach! Some have gone to church, some have family already in the church, and others are starting fresh! For the past few weeks at family home evening at Andre´s house (pretty sure he´s been tagging me every Monday in the pics he´s posts on instagram) they´ve had a friend there – Amanda. For the longest time we tried to find her house but we always ended up at the wrong place haha but we finally found it this past week with help from a member! There we met her daughter who is 14 and is the cutest, prettiest, soft spoken little thing! Her name is Vitoria. So we started to teach them the lessons and Vitoria is just soaking them all up! She´s answering our questions perfectly and remembers everything we teach! Amanda is also really great but she´s  little more difficult to run into because she works a lot and only gets home at night...but it´s all work out! It´s really humbling and neat to see how the Lord prepares some people J

This week we went on splits with our sister training leaders. I took the place of one of them in their area while she took my place here. It was really cool to see another area and meet new people and to learn from another compainion. It was only for a day, we switched Friday morning and reunited Saturday morning. It was also really sweet coming back because everyone here was like, Sister Parks! You returned! Everyone that Sister Takahashi visited with the other sister asked where I was, if i had been transferred haha it was so cute to hear!! I love this place, have I said that already? Well, it´s true! Also when I came back and I walked into our house Sister Takhashi and Sister Macipe (STL) prepared a surprise for me! My desk was covered in pictures from my mission and family and they put out chocolate and on the wall they put up ballons and a sign that said, Happy 1 Year!! It was so cute! I feel so old on the mission hhahaha I can´t believe it´s been a year?!?! The day before my 1 yr mark I wrote in my journal about that day a year ago, saying goodbye to my family in the airport, arriving in salt lake thinking i´d never find trenton and then holly surprised me while I was waiting for my luggage then I stayed the night with her and the next day Trenton, Holly, Brooke, Caleb and Lauren all dropped me off at the MTC! It was a whirlwind of emotions! But I´m grateful for everyone those last few days J

It´s been a great week and it should be another good one J

I love you all SOOOOOOOOOOO muchhhhhh and miss y´all madly!


- Sister Parks

ps - it´s still hotter than hades. it´s been raining a lot though BUT here, after it rains, it gets hotter. so it´s always nice to get rain but after...the sun is so powerful I wanna die!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Messejana, Brazil - Look out Messejana, we´re baptizing everybody!

Hello family! This week was awesome! So many happy days J

Last Monday after we emailed we headed back home and just stayed there because….we were very lazy and tired and didn´t want to go anywhere. But we didn´t even end up taking naps because we just talked and talked and talked! This week has been super fun because Sister Takahashi is learning English! It´s now a rule on the mission that everyone has to study English every day for language study (except us Americans obviously), but that wasn´t a problem for Sister Takahashi because she´s been wanting to practice and learn more English! It´s pretty cute haha her whole wall is covered in post its with words that I´ve defined for her in English, and she made a video for her family talking in English because her dad and brother both speak English fluently and her sister can speak a little, too. She prays in English and we both share our personal study with each other in English. For those unfamiliar with the missionary schedule, in the morning we have 1 hour of personal study and then 1 hour of companionship study and we always share with the other what we read/what we learned in our personal study. So the first day she shared her personal study with me, I asked her if she wanted me to share mine in English or Portuguese. She said, do you think it´ll mess up your Portuguese? And I said, I don´t think so. And ohhh man was I right! For her it took 30 minutes to share what she learned in English and when it was my turn, I took 30 minutes too! Hahaha it was so funny how bad my English is! I kept going back to speaking Portuguese on accident. But it´s fun because in the house we speak English most of the time, her more than me. I speak 50/50 because honestly….it´s easier to speak in Portuguese now than it is to speak in English. It´s pretty funny when people ask me to say something in English or ask me how to say a certain phrase/word because I have to stop and think for a good minute and then when I say the word I usually pronounce it wrong haha I have to try like 3 times before I get it right. Soooo it´ll be interesting when I return! Please bear with me J

Referring to my subject line now, we had 2 baptisms this week!!!! 2 youth. Samuel, 12 years old, and Rodrigo, 16. Samuel was baptized on Saturday before mutual which was SO great because all the youth were there to show their support! The youth are seriously the best part of this ward. They´re so unified and most of them are recent converts and are the only members in their families but they´re all so great in supporting each other and inviting each other to activities. This past week we took Rodrigo to seminary and ended up staying and it was just wonderful! Really made me miss those days being a youth in the ward and my group of friends J shout out to the group – yáll know who you are! The other time Rodrigo went to seminary, 2 youth boys stopped by to pick him up! That made us so happy to see! Rodrigo was baptized on Sunday after church and that was great too because a lot of youth stayed to watch which is usually difficult because when church ends, everyone wants to go home to eat! But they all bore with us haha J Adeline and Samuel were both confirmed as members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and both received the gift of the Holy Ghost! AND Padua, who me and Sister Alvarado baptized, received the Melchezideck priesthood omg I was so happy! I was so proud of him!!

It´s been fun being with Sister Takahashi because she´s made me open up more and joke around more J She´s helped me be more myself which is something that I kind of lost when I came here! Because of the language barrier, etc. But it´s gotten much better!

I miss you guys sooooooooooooooo much but my love for yáll surpasses my sadness J Yáll are SO GREAT and SO ADORABLE! How did I get such a cute family? I just want to squeeze you all! Especially dad hehehe but seriously, thanks for everything! Thanks for still writing me lol
Te amo para sempre!
-          -Sister Parks
Pictures: glasses pic – playing around and writing letters last p day
Sister takahashi in my hammock – she was protesting because I moved my bed back to put up my hammock to sleep in and she wanted me to be closer to her hahaha
Facebook hands – we found them in a members home and obvi had to take a picture haha
Baptism of Rodrigo!
Samuel´s baptism I brought my camera but left my battery plugged in a home…smart, I know. But Wleberton sent me pics that he took so ill forward those to you!

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Displaying IMG_20160312_094651641_HDR.jpg

Monday, March 7, 2016

Messejana, Brazil - the 411

Hey guys!

This week…

Thursday we had a “game night” and us and our ward mission leader were in charge! So he came up with fun games/relays to play that incorporated missionary work! The first game we blew up ballons and put little pieces of paper inside them with questions about the scriptures or about missionary life like, what time does a missionary wake up? Silly things like that haha! The second game was a relay that represented Sunday´s when we go from house to house to pick our investigator´s who said they´d go to church. So we set up chairs and had 6 people stand at the back of the gym, behind the obstacle of chairs. Two boys from each time had to jump over a chair (it was lying sideways) and then run around another stack of chairs, grab an “investigator” and bring them to the front hahaha it was very entertaining! The other game we did was we blind folded two people and they had to make their way to us by listening to our voices while everyone else was yelling and screaming, trying to distract them. Didn´t really work out as well as we expected because we ended up having to yell too lol but it was meant to represent how we need to listen to the Spirit!

Saturday Adeline was baptized!! It went perfectly and just how she wanted! She didn´t want a lot of people, and she doesn´t like cake or ice cream OR soda so we had Doritos and juice haha because that´s what she likes! But it was great because her brothers Wellington and Aizaki were there (who were both baptized in Feb!) and we took lots of pictures haha. It was a happy day :) I love that family!!! Their mom is also wonderful. She goes to her church faithfully, but she always welcomes us into her home and is always worried about us haha she always asks if we´ve eaten. The other day I was having some stomach pain and she was so worried about me haha!

The days are flying by, the weeks are flying, and the months. I can´t believe it´s March. A year ago the days were flying by too fast, too, for when I´d be leaving on the mission. It´s strange to think about how I´ve been away for (almost) a year. But it´s been SO great! It´s crazy how much we learn on the mission, how much we see, how many people we meet. It´s weird to think about how many people I´ve met that I never imagined I´d meet in my life! They´ve made a mark in my life. I know I´ll cherish these memories forever. I wanted to say thank you really fast to my parents who allowed me to serve a mission. I KNOW it´s harder for parents, for our families back home. People always ask us, do you miss your family? How do you cope? But what we tell them is the truth, and I´m sorry if it´s a little harsh for you guys, but we don´t have time to think about our families! Our worries are so fixated on the people in our areas, the people we´re teaching, that we don´t have time to sit and think about our own lives. We´re always thinking about the lives of others, and what we can be doing to better help them. BUT you guys are ALWAYS in my heart and I love to look at the pictures I have with my family and my friends. My family is my world! I love you guys with ALL my heart!
I´ll stop now before I end up writing another paragraph haha but I just wanted you guys to know how much I love you all!!!!!!!! Seriously, y´all are the greatest. :)

Te amo MUITO!!!!

-          Sister Parks