Monday, April 18, 2016

Maracanau, Brazil - Miracles are REAL!!!!

Wowowowowowow this week was SO GREAT (SO GREAT!*)! It was filled with miracles!! ! Yáll are going to love this week´s email!
First, some random things:
-          There´s a cookie factory near my area so the area ALWAYS SMELLS LIKE COOKIES! It´s the greatest thing ever. But also the worst when we´re hungry….or fasting.

-          Last P-day we went to the malllllllllll which is great because I always feel at home in the mall lolol we ate Burger King because it´s a big deal here. Which is so funny to me because…who likes Burger King in the United States??? Lol but it was good. After I finished my meal I bought a chocolate shake. Because I´m weak when it comes to chocolate. And ice cream. Milkshakes are my weaknesses. Missin my chocolate shakes at Amy´s man….

-           Speaking of ice cream, there´s this really good ice cream place in my area lolol and it´s kinda like our frozen yogurt places in the U.S. where it´s self serve. So on Friday we make a few visits with a boy in our ward, Emerson. He needed to go back home at 3 to do some homework so we dropped him off then passed by the Bishop´s house to remind him about the game nights we´re going to have in the next few weeks. While we were there, Bishop mentioned that the day before was Emerson´s birthday!!! So when we left we were like "omg we have to do something!" And the Bishop just so happens to live on the same street at the ice cream place so as we passed by, we both knew what to do *smirk emoji face* so we went to Emerson´s house and said that we needed him for one more lesson and he was nice enough to go buuuuuut we surprised him with ice cream!!!!!! So we ate ice cream with him which he enjoyed :) 

-          Yesterday I watched the woman´s conference again because the stake here never showed it until now! So my companion hadn´t watched it yet so I got to see it again last night :) It was just as wonderful as I remembered. I just love Eyring.

-          Last P-day we went to a member´s house, the first counselor because I hadn't met him yet and they had just adopted a newborn baby so we had to go see!! And he told me that everyone in the ward was saying how sweet I am and that I don´t even look or act like an American and that they´re all loving me already! I´m also the first American sister ever here!!! So that made me SO happy because it´s always a missionary´s fear arriving in a new area and taking the place of another sister who everyone loved, but it´s going great! I´m LOVING everyone here and it´s good to know they´re liking me as well :)
Sooo this week we met 2 families that are part member families! In both cases, the husband is a less active and the wife isn´t a member. One couple went to church yesterday because they had moved into our area a year ago and never knew where the church was and yesterday they saw one and went! It wasn´t our ward but the elders there called us and gave us their address and names and we stopped by their house and introduced ourselves. He´s been wanting to return to church and the wife really enjoyed the church, too!!! Miracles!! The other couple traveled this weekend but they´re really great, too. The husband is less active and kind of got into bad habits but his family is the center of his life. We talked one night with them and she said that she always told him if he returned to church, she would go with him, be baptized and everything! So like…. WOW! We're now planning to work with him to help him back and help her learn more about the church :)

And now…..THE BEST PART!!!!! Sunday! Sunday was probably the best day of all because…………………. we had a miracle baptism! So there´s this adorable mother in our ward, Tcharlly. Her husband was the old bishop, but they´re both super young. They both served missions. Tcharlly actually served in the mission of my companion and she reactivated Sister Carvalho´s parents!!! And now Sister Carvalho is serving in the ward she's living in!!! It´s the cutest story ever. SOOOO she has a few sisters and a brother. Her brother is the 1st counselor in our ward, one sister is on a mission, and the other is a youth in our ward. The other sister is Kilvia. Kilvia is 8 years old. She basically grew up in the church because of her siblings. Oh, and their parents were never baptized. Most of them were baptized in secret because their mom and dad never really liked the church back in the day. Their parents are now divorced and his dad is dating another woman, Marcia, who we're teaching. So Sunday…..they all showed up at church – her non member dad and Marcia, too. Tcharlly calls us out to the foyer and says, "Kilvia wants to be baptized. You can baptize her TODAY." So we were like…."WHAT OMG WOW WHAT SO MANY EMOTIONS!!!"  So we called our zone leaders and they rushed over and interviewed her, she passed, her dad signed the baptismal form, her brother baptized her, we called President and asked for permission for the family to confirm her (because normally recent converts have to be confirmed the next Sunday) and turns out it´s our bishop who authorizes the confirmation, which he obviously allowed, and so she was confirmed right after! Wow! It was a very happy day for them! I really felt like we did nothing! It didn´t even feel like our baptism even though it counts as ours because her parents aren´t members haha. She was truly a present given to us from God because we worked super hard this week and were super obedient! Our numbers this week were really great (because as missionaries we always have to have our goals in mind) and we exceeded all of our goals and for that, we were given this wonderful gift all wrapped up and ready! She is SUCH a great little girl, we talked with her a bit before the elders talked with her and she knew everything and is SOO smart. We asked her to give the prayer at the end and it was the cutest thing!!!! I´m so excited to get to know her more :)

So THAT was my week, family!!! Things are going really great! I love my companion, Sister Carvalho; she´s super sweet and loving and loves to have fun so we´re having a blast together J This place is already starting to feel like home! 

I love you all with my whole heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


- Sister Parks

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