Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Maracanau, Brazil - Backstreet's back ALRIGHT!

Yes, our neighbor tortures me every Sunday by playing ALL THE CLASSICS of the Backstreet Boys. Lol

Well, I'm back! I didn't go anywhere though. I didn't get to email yesterday because from morning until night we were having our last mission conference with President Fusco. Tomorrow at midnight, President Leite will be our new president. It was such a great conference! He taught us and left us with lots of counsel, lots of advice, lots of testimony. He taught us about how obedience strengthens our faith. He gave us all a final interview – an exit interview that he gives to each missionary. It was also super great because I really wanted an exit interview with him and I got it there! He talked a little about President Leite too, who was his zone leader on the mission!! They're long time friends which is super cool, but they're very much opposites. President Leite told President Fusco to tell us that the mission will be a MUSICAL mission!! President Leite and his entire family all sing and play an instrument and love music so my new mission president and his family are basically the Von Trapp´s lololol no but I'm super excited! I'm really going to miss President Fusco though. He taught me a lot about my Savior. How on the mission we have the chance to get to know our Savior a little bit better, and when he bears testimony of Jesus Christ, you know that he KNOWS Him. He taught me a lot about repentance and how important it is, how it should be a daily thing that we do, that it's the chance we have to become more like Christ. I'm so grateful for him and all the things he taught me. I´m grateful to have had him as my 3rd mission president hahaha no but really, SO grateful for the chance I had to get to know him. He helped me a lot when I arrived in Brazil and was struggling. I will always hold our interviews near and dear to me. It´s sad to see yet another mission president go, but I will welcome the new one with an open heart!

This week the church had a São Joao party! It was sooo fun and reminded me a little of Hoedowns in Texas hahaha because they dress like cowboys a little bit! Our youth performed a São Joao traditional dance which was awesome and the bishop bought our food for us and a member from Messejana showed up!!! She had lived in Maracanau in the past so she knows almost everyone there but it was great because I got to hug and talk to her and ask about how my old ward´s doing and my recent converts. Leko and Padua both received the Melchizedek Priesthood, Leko baptized a girl, and Rodrigo passed the sacrament and is talking about when he'll serve a mission!! Wow I'm typing this with tears in my eyes! I never imagined the joy I would feel hearing about my recent converts going strong in the church! I am so blessed to have served here and to have had the opportunity to share this gospel with these people!!

This week was Cezario´s birthday (my latest recent convert) and we made him cake and on his birthday it's tradition for him to give a present to someone. Soooo lol he gave me a present and I made a video that I´ll send to you guys lolol it's hilarious!

This past week 2 missionaries returned! One is in the other ward and one is in ours. The one in ours, Hotoniel, brought his cousin to church on Sunday so he´s already getting at being a member missionary!! We're excited – he´s going to help us out a ton!

We also had lunch with Tcharlly this week which is always a delight. This time it was Sister Costa´s choice and she wanted to try sushi lolol so we went to a sushi place and I tried one anddddd didn't like it too much lol........ BUT NOW NO ONE CAN SAY I NEVER TRIED SUSHI! Because now I have J

Hilary pointed out that I talk a lot about repentance and the sacrament and I just realized that it seems like I'm a sinner lol but truthfully, we all are! No but I just talk about it a lot because President Fusco always talked about repentance and when Elder Andersen and Elder Christensen came, they both talked about the importance of repentance. It´s truly a gift we have! If we want to enter into the kingdom of God, we have to remember to repent every day because every day we make mistakes! Don't freak out though haha I've just seen and come to know of the blessings from repentance and partaking of the sacrament worthily. I´ve seen lots of investigators and less actives waiting a long time to take of the sacrament worthily :) They´re examples to me of true disciples of Christ, who want to be honest to Him.

WELL, that's all folks! Love you all and thank you for your emails and love and support and prayers and everything else y'all do for me!! I can't thank y'all enough :)

- Sister Parks

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