Monday, July 25, 2016

Manacanau, Brazil - They're married!!

Yup, this morning Renata and Honorato got married!!! We woke up early, got ourselves ready then headed to their house, did her hair and makeup, then Bishop picked us up and we went to the registry and they were pronounced husband and wife!!!!!!
Tomorrow will be her baptism and Friday they'll receive blessings in the church :) 

Also, transfers happened.
Yesterday passed by and we hadn't gotten a call from our leaders or from the assistants so we were pretty sure we were staying. When our district leader called at night for our numbers he said that our zone leader had the transfers and was going to tell us in a little bit. My heart sank. The whole week there were SO many signs that said I´d be transferred. But I didn't want to believe them. So about 5 minutes leader our district leader calls us back and says, "I have the transfers. SIster Costa was transferred." She was "like what????" but OF COURSE HE WAS KIDDING! Ugh elders love to do this kind of stuff. Then he told us the good news,
I GET TO STAY HERE IN MARACANAU!!!!!! I'M GOING TO DIE HERE LIKE I WANTED (in mission terms lol)!!! I was literally jumping and squealing I was so happy!!!!! I am sooo so happy :) I was totally willing to leave if I needed to. In my prayers the whole week, I said, if I need to go, I`ll go, but You know my heart, You know what I want ;) and the Lord was so sweet in letting me stay!!!!!!! I´m so happy and so grateful!!!!!

This week Reginaldo was baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!! He had gone to church 2 weeks in a row and we´d been teaching him even longer than that but he always was scared to be baptized. He always felt like he needed to know more. Then one day we stopped by with him and Sister Costa told him that TOMORROW would be his baptism! We were determined to help this grown man get over his fear hahaa so he signed the baptismal form and we put together a baptism super fast! The next day we were all there in the chapel waiting for him to finish the interview with our district leader and when they finished SIster Costa looked at me and said, "the baptismal font...... WE FORGOT TO FILL UP THE FONT!!!!!" So the Elders pushed up their sleeves and grabbed buckets and they started helping it fill up faster while the members rushed to make and print the program wooooowowowowo it was super stressful but when it ended at 9:20 we shook his hand, congratulated him, and RAN HOME lololol but it all worked out in the end!!! He and Lucas were both confirmed this Sunday :)

I´ll end it there because I can't think of anything else but I'm so happy and so shocked that I'm starting my last transfer. Wow. I'm so grateful for my mission and for all the people I`ve met and for the opportunity I have to get to know my Savior more :) I love Him!!!!

And I love y'all too!!!! Thanks for all your love and support!!!!!!

- Sister Parks

P.S. - Does acai exist in the U.S.? It does, right? Anyways. Sister Costa is from Acre where acai is from and it's super good there obvi. She's been trying to find good acai places here and the first 2 we tried were horrible (according to her) so I ate them for her. Then the 3rd we tried was soooooo gooooood, even she liked it! So yeah. I now love acai.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Manacanau, Brazil - enjoy every moment!

^ is my new goal!

We had interviews with our new mission president this week and that was one of his questions to me - if i was enjoying every moment of the mission. The mission truly flies by so it´s my goal to make the most of it, to enjoy to every moment!!

SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED THIS WEEK! I´ll try to keep it short though with bullet points.

- We had a baptism!!!! Lucas! He turned 8 years old recently and his grandpa is a recent convert and he always go to church with him, so we were basically just waiting for him to turn 8 and then, baptism!! So that happened on Sunday :) it was a very happy day and truly a miracle!

- We helped a brother in our ward, Oziel, paint his house because the next day was his birthday and he´s was preparing the house for the party!! So you will see pics of me in JEANS! I was super happy lolol and Oziel reminds me a lot of dad hahahaha he´s hilarious

- The wedding plans are all coming together!! I did her hair one day with the wand in preparation for the actual wedding day and it turned out super pretty! The ward is planning everything and it's going to be so pretty and I'm so excited to finally see them get married and her be baptized!!!!! I love this family so much :)

- Next week we have transfers and I'm praying and pleading to stay here for my last transfer!!! I want to be here for the wedding and baptism and I really want to end here because I love this ward and area so much!! I literally can´t believe I have just one more transfer...... buuuuut let's not think about it, shall we?

Also for those asking, I'll be coming home the week of September 4th. Probably Sep 6th or 7th. I'm not sure and I don't know when my mission sends itinerary to the families. Y'all can email and ask, there are Americans that work in the mission office haha. 

Anyways, I'm super happy!! I love this area, I love this work, I love these people, I love everything!!!!!

I love you all a ton too :) Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers, and support!!! I owe you all big time when I come home :) Do yáll accept hugs as payment? ;)


- Sister Parks

Monday, July 11, 2016

Maracanau, Brazil - we're gonna have a wedding!!

Lololol not mine obvi keep reading to find out whose!

Hiii everyone J

How was everyone's week? How was the Longmire reunion? I´m super sad I'm missing another Parks fling but at least I won't miss another Parks Christmas! Give my love to everyone! '´d love a little email with a picture or selfie from everyone in the fam!! ;)

So this week we were running around a lot! Not actually running lol everyone who knows me knows of my love for running..... BUT this week we decided to finally work out this wedding thing! So who remembers Renata and Honorato? He's a less active who is returning and he´s brought along Renata and their little girl, Yasmin. They are the cutest things and I met them way back when I was with Sister Carvalho. So since then Renata has wanted to be baptized but they weren't married and haven't had enough money to pay to get married. So they've been going to church these past few months and finally last Sunday after sacrament meeting we were called into the bishop's office with a bunch of leaders and they were like, "okay, what is missing to get this couple married?" And we told them, "MONEY." So they decided to send around a donation list in the couples class and asked for everyone to donate 10, 15, or 20 reais. And at the end of church we were given the list and almost cried!! We have enough to mark their wedding!!! So we later gave Renata and Honorato the good news and they gave us all their documents and on Tuesday we went to Fortaleza to mark a date for their wedding. Well, there they said that their birth certificates need to be updated. So yeah, I nearly cried there. BUT the next day we tried another registry here in Maracanau andddddd they accepted all the documents! We luckily had brought Renata and Honorato that day too and we got everything done right then and there! They signed the papers, we assigned the testimonies (they unfortunately didn't accept me because I didn't have my passport ugh annoying I had my visa AND cpf (social security # here) and they still wanted my passport which stays in the mission office) BUT luckily Bishop was there (he drove us) and he was all ready with his cpf and ID so we put him in as a testimony. ANYWAYS, the wedding is marked for the 25th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're super excited!!!! I´m so happy for them!!! She'll be baptized the following day and then the ward is preparing a wedding ceremony and a dinner later in the week! J  The next day Renata called us and told us she had something to show us and we were like, "A DRESS??" And she was like, "YUP!!" She showed us the next day and ahhhh she's going to be so beautiful!!! We're going to go early on the 25th to help her get ready J

But moving on, we had our first conference with President Leite! He's a famous lawyer and he sure talks like one too haha he´s very formal but he seems super great. His wife too is super pretty and has a sweet manner J 
At the conference as we were arriving some friends of mine from Messejana came to visit me and Sister Takahashi (who was transferred too this last transfer) Rodrigo and Adeline who I baptized were there and Marjorie and Mateus (members - siblings to Anderson  who would always go on visits with us and left for Argentina while I was there)! It was so good to see them :) We took pics and they told me what's new but then we had to go inside because the conference was going start! Haha but they're great. I´m super happy that they're all doing well. Rodrigo said that he´s already finished Duty to God! Haha! I was baffled. 

I also got Hilary´s package!!!! Thanks Hil!!!!! I was overjoyed to receive new clothes!!! Thank you thank you! 

So I love you a lot :) Miss you all a ton, too. Here's some pics :)

Te amo!

- Sister Parks

Us before the conference. I bought the new outfit the day before :) I felt pretty hehe
Adeline, Rodrigo, Marjorie, Mateus, me and Sister Takahashi :)
the big Catholic church is in Fortaleza. super famous so we snuck a few pics.

Ana Lucia (who we baptized) and her grand-daughter who's super funny
the baby girl is Yasmin. Renata and Honorato´s daughter. And pics with them with the rings and everything!!! EEEEE!!!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Maracanau, Brazil - Happy 4th of July!!!!!!

Totally had forgotten so thanks for the remainders! Hahaha wooh America!!! Happy birthday, America. Love ya foreva.

This week was super great! 

I was reunited with Sister Kirkendall!!!!! My companion from the MTC!!! She's a big deal now as Sister Trainer Leader so we went on splits and I got to be with her!!! It was so fun to catch up, talk about our MTC days, talk about our Provo days and working in the Payson Temple and how grateful we are for that special transfer in the United States we had, and then we talked about our missions here because we've literally been super far apart until now! We've both gone through lots of different experiences on the mission but we've both grown and changed a lot. So that was fun :)

We had our last conference with President Fusco like I said last week and tomorrow we have our first conference with President Leite! We're super excited!

The pics are me with Sister Takahashi at the conference
The girl who looks like she was crying is a member from Messejana who came to visit me at the conference (After it ended of course) the poor thing misses me :)

And the pic with me and 3 other girls are us Texans!!!!!!! The Texas girls all showing our Texas/UT pride!! Yup, there's 4 of us. We're taking over.
The others are my new district here in Maracanau and Cesario´s birthday!

Sorry I'm out of time but I'm doing great, I'm happy and healthy!

I love you all SOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Sister Parks