Monday, April 4, 2016

Messejana, Brazil - IT'S RAINING MEN

No. I wish. Lol just kidding. It´s been raining cats and dogs here! It´s like Fortaleza is on a set timer where every night at 10 pm it´s starts to pour and doesn´t stop until 10 am the next morning! And at night, it´s been storming and it´s sooo loud! I´ve never been scared of thunder until here. But I think that´s because the houses here are made a bit differently. The window in our room isn´t like normal windows in the US, it´s just shutters sooo thunderstorms are a bit louder here than back at home. But this week did get me thinking that this time of year it´s raining and storming in Texas, too! Have yáll had any crazy storms or flooding yet?

Well, yesterday and Saturday was General Conference!!! I was soo happy but now I´m so sad because it´s over :( It always comes and goes so fast. But it was great! There were a lot of great talks. I don´t have my notes with me but I filled up quite a few pages with notes! I remember from yesterday that I especially liked Elder Oak´s talk. I´ll be frank and say, he was killin´it. And of course, Holland. I was scared for a moment that he wasn´t going to speak but they saved him for last. And it was great! I want to listen to it again. I also have been loving the talks given by Elder Gong. It was wonderful and as always, made me a little nostalgic. It was so fun the years that me, Taylor, Matt, and Hil all went to Conference (sorry Trenton, you were technically there (in Utah) too but…on the mish) and spending the weekend at Taylor´s apartment so close to Temple Square and the Conference Center! Sorry you two, I know yáll miss Salt Lake and this is probably making it worse… I also thought about the times wayyy back when we´d watch conference at home and Mom would make donuts or cinnamon rolls. And Dad's singing. :)
But I really liked what Elder Holland said at the beginning of his talk, that it´s incredible how everyone watching in the whole world is gathered together and we all pray and sing together. There are so many things I never thought about that being here on the mission, in Brazil, has really helped me see. I was sitting in my chapel with the Messejana Stake watching the conference via satellite with Portuguese translation. They translate every part except for the music, and when we sing with the congregation, we open up their hymns to sing along too, even though it may clash a little with the English being sung. Conference is such a great and humbling experience!

This week I got a little sick butttttt it was my fault. I didn´t eat too well one day and the next day I was throwing up a lot. BUT have no fear, I had lots of “moms” taking care of me and Sister Fusco told me of 3 medicines to take and by the next day, I was already feeling better! But I did miss my mom :( It´s no fun being sick away from your mom. Or your dad who makes fun of you the whole time while also entertains you hahaha

So these past few weeks we´ve been reading in the Book of Mormon with Leko, Adeline, Aizaki (the 3 siblings that were baptized) as well as Rodrigo who was baptized too and their little friends Gabriel and Weskley. It´s super cute because every night we turn on their street they´re always there and ask us, “Are we going to read tonight?” And they´ll go and grab their Book of Mormon´s and we´ll all read a chapter. It´s been amazing to see how the gospel is helping our recent converts. Leko and Adeline and Rodrigo read the Book of Mormon every day under the trees as well as reading with us at night. And you guys don´t even know how much Rodrigo has changed! I remember the first night I met him with Sister R. Santos, he was honestly a little annoying and he is verrrry shy and is basically addicted to his phone and I didn´t think he would ever progress as an investigator but oh man was I wrong! He´s going to seminary every night with his Bible and his Book of Mormon, he isn´t on his phone as much, he talks and jokes not just with us but with the other youth in the ward, he´s going to mutual, and he was the only one out of the whole group who went to all 4 sessions of General Conference! AND on Saturday he introduced us to his sister and she already knew so much about us and the church because Rodrigo is always talking about us, she said! Haha this gospel is seriously a gospel of miracles :) Not that he needed to change or be cured or anything crazy like that, no, the littlest things can be miracles. He´s changing for the better and is growing in the gospel, the best place to grow.

WELL I´ll wrap up this novel now hahahaha sorry guys…..

All is well here in South America. I´m taking care of myself, and when I fail at that, I have others taking care of me lolool but seriously, please don´t worry about me! :) It´s allll good here!


-          Sister Parks

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