Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I"m Definately Serving in the Best Mission Ever!!!

Man so much has happened the past few days, I don't even know where to begin. So the last few days at the MTC were pretty whatever. I actually had some really great spiritual experiences and it was sad to see everyone in my district leave. But that stuff really isn't near as entertaining as leaving the MTC.
On Tuesday morning, I had to be at the travel office at 4 so it was an early morning. When I got to the airport, I called my family and that was great. I didn't have much more time before we boarded after talking to them. At least that's what I thought until we sat on the tarmac for almost 2 hours. Apparently there were some problems with the breaks and after trying to fix them they finally decided to just replace them. So the flight was long but it ended up being ok. I was sitting next to another Elder serving in my mission so we talked a lot. And I talked to the other lady I was sitting next to and she told me about her whole life. It's really interesting being a missionary because all of the sudden people are telling you everything about their life, including the really hard things they've gone through. But it was good talking to her and she was super nice and helpful as we tried to figure out if we would make our connection. When we got to Detroit, that plane had been delayed for 30 minutes so it was still there, which was a miracle. But we literally had to walk from one end of the airport to the other so we had the desk people call our gate and tell them we were on our way. I was sort of sad we didn't have a real layover because I was going to call Grandma and Grandma Staheli and Grandma and Grandpa Parkin. So if you guys are reading this, I'm really sorry you didn't get to hear from me. But I still love you.
President and Sister Morgan and the AP's were waiting for us at the airport. I seriously love them so much already. They have kids around our ages so basically they are super cool and know what's up. They actually changed a lot of the rules from the other president, which is good with me. I guess we use to not be able to go into Time Square or any of lower Manhatten because it was 'bad' but President Morgan and his family went down there and decided that it's not as bad as any other part of the city and you really don't see anything horrible unless you're looking for it. So this is awesome news because there are a lot of cool things to see in that part of the city and as long as we're serving in the city, we can go anywhere in our zone on p-day. Which means I'll have some super cool p-days. President Morgan is super funny but also super in tune with the spirit. He's just great and I feel really lucky to have such an awesome president.
Today is p-day, clearly. So you'll hear from me every Wednesday. And you'll never guess where my first area is. THE BRONX!!!! I am literally SO FREAKING EXCITED!! I'm in the Conners area I think...I don't really know what it's called. They keep telling me and I don't understand. haha But my trainer is Hermana Pipes and she seems super awesome. And really everyone just seems super awesome. Everyone at the transfer meeting was so nice. I haven't even made it to my apartment yet because the library is across the street from the church building so I still have a lot of stuff to find out about but I'm just really excited. I mean I'm basically in the legit ghetto but I stinking love it! And I don't feel like anyone is going to shoot me down on the street or anything so that's good. But I've also never really felt like that in cities so maybe I should be more concerned. I figure the Lord is going to protect me, right? Also, we don't have bikes in the mission at all which I'm super excited about to! Since I'm in the city, we used public transportation a lot and walk which I'm way excited about.
I don't even know what else to tell you. So much has happened in so little time. But things are awesome. I'm excited to get settled in and start working and I'm really excited to have the companion that I do and to serve in this area. It sounds like we don't get transfered out of areas very often so hopefully I'll have the opportunity to serve here for a while.
You are all awesome!! Love you!
Hermana Parkin (a real life missionary in New York!!!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm almost to New York!!!

Hey there!!

So just to clarify because I didn't actually know when I was leaving last week, I will be heading to New York on Tuesday morning. Yay! So please don't send anything else to the MTC because I probably won't get it. Also if you wrote me a letter this past week, I might not have a chance to write you back until I'm at the airport on Tuesday because we kind of have a weird p-day today with less time and I need to pack...

This week was fabulous. It went super fast. I can't believe that my MTC stay is almost over. I'm so excited to get to New York. Also, we get to watch the Brigham City temple dedication on Sunday, which I'm way excited about because I've never been to one. And because Grandma Staheli send me a handkerchief from Grandma Vera soooo that's pretty awesome.

A lot of cool things happen this week relating to New York. First, on Sunday there was a fireside and this guy talked about the Book of Mormon play and how the church reacted to it. I guess there are signs all over NYC now. They bought a megatron thing in Times Square for ads and they have ads on the Taxi's and the Subway and everywhere. It is going to be SO AWESOME to serve there where the church is being talked about so much. It made me so pumped up to get out there and get working.

Also, Hermana Seely had to go to the optomatrist this week because her glasses broke. So while we were waiting for her, we started talking to one of the secretaries and she just got back from serving in my same exact mission, Spanish speaking, like 4 months ago. So I got to talk to her all about it and she loved it and she loves the sisters who are serving there right now too and I'm so excited. She said there are like 6-8 Spanish areas for the sisters and she was able to serve in the Bronx and Harlem and some other part of Manhatten. I was practically peeing my pants I was so excited. I am literally going to have the best mission ever!

Love Hermana Parkin

Friday, September 14, 2012

Almost Out of the MTC

So update on my leg because I'm sure everyone is wondering. I had my follow up appointment on Tuesday and the doctor said that I have one of the best MRI's he's ever seen. Which means they have no idea what the problem is. I was having a lot of mixed feelings because even though I'm glad it's nothing serious and I don't need surgery or anything, I really wanted a real answer so that I could have a real solution. But he is sending me to a physical therapist and he thinks that if I can strengthen the muscles, everything should eventually get better. I went to the therapist on Wednesday and it was actually pretty fun and he gave me a bunch of stretches that I need to do everyday. Being at a physical therapist made me sort of want to change my major again and go back to my original plans of occupational therapy. But too bad I don't actually want to study that, I just want to magically be able to do that. Also, in case you were wondering about the pelivis abnormalites, I have a benign bone lesion. He said it won't affect anything and that I was born with it. So thanks, Mom and Dad. =]
Before I got in to see the doctor on Tuesday, Hermana Duchene and I had a conversation with this lady who only speak Spanish. It was so cool! I could understand most of everything she said and I was able to talk back to her. It was really interesting because we had only been talking to her for 2 minutes before she starts telling us her whole life story. In the 20 minutes we were talking to her, I just loved her and I loved talking to her and it made me that much more excited to get to New York.
Hermano Johnson got an intership in D.C. so we lost him as a teacher yesterday. We're pretty sad because he is the only teacher that has been with us from the very beginning. This also means that we don't get to teach Juan anymore and I'm super sad about that because I really felt like we were finally starting to go somewhere. I think I'm pretty much the only one that really cares though because I'm one of the only people in my district that tries to treat our investigators as real investigators and not just our teachers pretending to be investigators.

I've been thinking a lot about life and how compared to a lot of the other sisters here, I have had a really awesome life. I haven't struggled with anything life changing, like deaths or abuse or an unsuportive family. My life has been pretty easy and I'm so grateful for that. I've been wondering if maybe I am having weird health problems and what not on my mission because I need to have that struggle. I don't know, this is all probably sounding crazy. But I'm really grateful for the awesome family and friends that I have and the awesome life I've had so far. I'm not going to let the small things get me down or cause problems on my mission because that's not what I'm here to do. I'm here to work hard even if it's really difficult sometimes.
I hope you all are doing well!
Hermana Parkin

This was included in the email Hernana Parkin sent to us. I thought it might be of interest to some family memebers and friends....Thanks Janae

So first of all, because I don't know if the MTC called you, but you should probably know that I went to the hospital at 1:30 Tuesday night. Before you freak out, everything is fine. I was having some chest pain when I went to bed but I just ignored it becasue I didn't want something else to be wrong with me. But then I woke up at 1 and it was hurting really bad and my arm was all tingly. So I woke up H. Seely and we went to the front desk and called the on-call doctor and he sent me to the ER. We went and woke up H. Duchene and the MTC van drove us to the hospital (which was super weird to be at because the last time I was there was freshman year and Liz and Chalene were there with me) and they did a bunch of tests to rule out the big problems. I don't have a blood clot or anything seriously wrong. They think it is swelling around the lining of my lung which is then pushing against my ribs causing pain. They can't actually test for that but they gave me some motrin for the anti-inflamitory and it's been feeling a lot better. So I'm not worried. Just really embarrassed because I don't want to be the missionary that is always have dumb problems. Anyways, I thought you should probably know what was going on, but I'm fine.
I should have gotten my travel plans yesterday but we didn't. We think they will come today and we heard rumor that if you get them after you send your p-day email that you get to call home for 5 minutes. I don't know if that's true but I guess we'll see what happens. I hope they at least let us send a quick email or something so you know exactly when I'm leaving the MTC. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

How Firm a Foundation

Thank you so much for everyones concern and prayers about my leg issues! I really appreciate it! Update on the issue: Basically the shot of cortozon I got last Tuesday did nothing. So I went back to the health clinic and they were able to move up my follow up appointment with the specialist. I went in yesterday to take an MRI. I was pretty terrified of this experience because every time there is an MRI scene on Grey's Anatomy, someone has a heart attack or a seizure or something. So clearly I thought I was going to die. Plus the little tube thing they stick you in is pretty small. But since my appointment was early in the morning they took my right back and to the MRI room. I just decided to keep my eyes closed the whole time until they were taking my out so that I didn't get claustrophobic. And then when images of people dying in MRI's started popping into my head, I had to sing  How Firm a Foundation in my head. So they finally got done after I was in there for about 20-25 minutes and they had the tech guy come check out the pictures and he said that it looked like I had some pelvis abnormalities (too much info for a letter that is going to end up on my blog for the whole world to read? I don't know...) and so they gave my an IV of this dye stuff so that the pictures would come out clearer, stuck me back in the machine, I sang some more of How Firm a Foundation and then they let me loose. So now I have leg problems and I probably won't be able to have children because I have an abnormal pelvis. Great. I actually don't even really find out what's wrong with me until Tuesday when I meet with the doctor. So I'll keep you updated as best I can. If anyone in Provo (or anyone that comes up to Provo every Tuesday) is feeling really sorry for me, I'm pretty sure some cupcakes from Cocoa Bean would cheer me up a lot. Especially if it was Better than Whatever flavored. But I mean I'm just throwing that bit of info out there...haha
We are finally getting new sisters in our room this Wednesday. We've had three empty beds since Hermana Harris left. We're hoping that they are advanced Spanish sisters so that they can help us improve our Spanish.
We will also be getting our flight plans on Thursday so the next time you hear from me, I'll have an exact day of when I leave the MTC. Unless they make me stay because of my leg, which I'm thinking is pretty unlikely but I guess if it happens, there will be some reason for it.
I've started to cry when I bear my testimony in Spanish, so that's sort of a problem. I thought I would be able to hold it together since I only sort of know what I'm saying, but apparently I'm just going to be crying throughout my entire mission. Speaking of Spanish, I've been trying really hard to speak only Spanish each day. It's been going pretty well. Obviously there are times when I have to speak English because the people I'm talking to don't speak Spanish but overall I feel like I've been able to do a pretty good job. At first it was super hard because the Elders were always making fun of all my mistakes, which is sort of my fault because I don't really care when they make fun of anything else I do. But I think they've gotten the picture that Spanish is the one thing they should just leave me alone about.
We have two baptismal dates, one for Patric and one for Juan. We are really excited that we've finally gotten to the point with both of them that they don't have other issues getting in the way of their baptism. Too bad they aren't real investigators but it's still really exciting. And the other day, my companions and I were kind of struggling with some planning because we all had different ideas for a lesson and Hermano Johnson took us out to talk about it with us. He helped us figure out what we can start doing better in our lessons. But then at the end he said that he honestly feels like we are doing a really good job and he said he couldn't teach like we can until he was four months into the his mission. That was a huge confidence booster and makes me feel a lot more ready to be in N.Y.
Thanks for your letters and love! You are all the best!!
Hermana Parkin