Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hello!

Sorry I was a super slacker last week and didn't email but we were
suuuuper busy with transfers. I am serving my last transfer back up in
Connecticut. I'm about an hour away from Danbury, in Stamford. I was
sad to leave the Bronx but I'm excited to be here too. It's kind of
bittersweet. Sister Tirado is training a new missionary so I'm super
excited for her. My new companion is Sister Hansen. She has been on
medical leave for 7 months and before that she was only in the mission
for 6 weeks so she's a newer missionary. It's kind of a weirder
situation for both of us because she has some experience but she's
been gone for so long so both of us are trying to figure out how much
she remembers and what she's not super comfortable doing yet. But it's
been a really good change for me and a good transition for her. The
ward is super awesome. The most functional ward I've been in my whole
mission. We actually have most of the ward council at correlation and
everyone is super willing to help us with lessons and we've already
had some referrals. It's awesome. They are super on top of missionary
work and we're super grateful. For some reason they think it's okay if
sacrament meeting goes 35 minutes over though. And apparently that's
an every week thing. Plus sacrament meeting is the last meeting so it
makes for some really long church meetings. Oh well. Life can't be
perfect.

I'm pretty sure the weather is confused as to what season we're in
because I didn't even wear a jacket yesterday. It was so warm! I love
it! Makes me feel like I'm back on the west coast. Speaking of west
coast, I saw Sister Nielson at transfers last week, as you all
probably saw on Faceboook. It was so fun to see her and I'm super
excited for her to be here. She's serving in Scarsdale and opening up
an area in the ward President Morgan attends. I know some of the
people in the ward from having served in that stake most of my mission
and I think she's going to love it there.

I got a note from Sister Tirado and she told me that the Reyes family
went to the ward Christmas party that they had in the Bronx the Friday
after I left. I literally almost cried. I am so excited and happy for
them. I mean I know it doesn't sound like much that they went to an
activity but they've been offended by a lot of people so the fact that
they were willing to go to this activity means that they'll be more
willing to start coming back to church one day. I'm so excited for
them!!

Christmas is going to be crazy! We have so many appointments for
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think we'll be eating like 6 times
between the two days. Which now that I think about it, that's a normal
number of times to eat in two days. But when your eating at members
houses, especially Hispanic members, that's a lot of food. Plus we've
had a dinner appointment every night since we got here and we have one
every night this week. People really love to feed us here. We're
grateful though because it's helped us to get to know ward members
more quickly and start to develop relationships with them. Also super
crazy event for Christmas is that our dinner appointment is with a
family that is related to Fernando, the investigator I taught and gave
up cookies for in New Rochelle. I'm secretly hoping that Fernando is
planning to spend time with his family that day so that I can see him
and see how things are going.

I think that's pretty much all for now. I hope you all have a great
Christmas and remember what this season is really all about - Christ.
I'm so grateful for that birth of our Savior and for all the comfort
and help that He gives to me each day. It's been amazing to see on my
mission how aware The Lord is of my needs and how He is involved in
everything that I do. I'm so grateful to have the knowledge of the
gospel in my life so that I have more direction and more peace. I love
you all!
Merry Christmas!
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Devotional

So this week wasn't as eventful as some other weeks. The area is going
really well. I'm not sure if I'm just less of a stress basket or if I
just knew more what to expect this time around, but opening this area
was way easier than opening up New Rochelle. At least once we stopped
getting lost, it was easier. I'm definitely not a fan if being lost in
the city but now we pretty much always know where we are and life is
great! We have quite a few potential investigator and some less active
families we're trying to work with. My favorite people ever are the
Reyes family. They still have a ways to go before they start coming
back to church and before the two younger kids get baptized but they
still have testimonies buried deep inside and they are full of so much
love. Every time we go over, I just feel like I'm at home with family.
I just love them!

We had our mission Christmas Devotional on Friday. It was so good! A
bunch of missionaries shared their musical talents and sang different
Christmas songs. You all would have been blown away! They were
amazing!! Then both President and Sister Morgan gave super spiritual
talks. After the devotional, we all had Christmas dinner together and
socialized with all the other missionaries. It's the only time the
whole entire mission is together so it was the best thing ever! I got
to see all of my best friends!

Today we're heading into Manhattan to Rockefeller to see the Christmas
lights. We're all excited. If we get home at a good time, I'll try to
send some pictures.

Keep warm and be grateful if your somewhere without snow! Love you!
Hermana Parkin


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tales From The Bronx

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and remembered all of the many
things your grateful for. We had a quiet Thanksgiving but it was good!
I'm really grateful for the family that had us over. We definitely had
a Hispanic dinner with none of the tradition items but lots of pork,
rice and beans. We had a good time!

I also got a haircut from my lovely roommate. I wanted something
different so I went a little drastic and got bangs. I don't think I've
had those since I was a little little girl but I like it! Something
new.

Maybe I've already mentioned this but as much as I love serving in the
Bronx and having all sorts of weird things happen that don't happen in
normal life, I really super hate the way the Bronx smells. Someone is
always smoking-either tobacco or weed. Plus there's always the
occasional urine or throw-up smell. Not to mention the ever present
smell of alcohol or B.O. It's about the only thing I dislike about the
Bronx. So be warned if you ever come to New York and decide to visit
the ghetto.

So this week I decided to keep track of all the funny things that
happened so that I have good stories to share today. They aren't my
greatest stories but I still thought they were funny.

A big plus of being back in the Bronx is that despite being a year
older and more than a few pounds heavier, I know that if I have no
other options, I can still find myself a husband on the streets out
here. One day we were walking past this man in a wheelchair. I was
just trying to be a nice missionary and smiled at him as we were
walking past. He jumps up on his one leg and grabs the back of his
chair so that he can stand and goes "Thank you hunny! You just made a
crippled man walk!" I was in shock and didn't know what to say so I
just said "You're welcome" and ran away. Clearly I'm real smooth in
those situations. Then a few days later, some black gangsta whistles
at me and said "Oooo blondie!" I was a little more prepared for that
one and just ran away gagging. He could have at least come up with a
better pick-up line...haha

We have a less active member that works at a laundromat and we usually
visit her there so we were over there the other day and right before
the lesson, her friend came in and she was interested in the church.
It was really cool and a huge blessing because she seems pretty
serious about it. So we share the lesson with them and then they kind
of go off on old lady chat and I kind of got lost in the conversation
and wasn't sure what was going on when all of the sudden she stands up
and rips off my scarf and starts giving me a massage. I had no idea
what was happening or how I should react so I just sat there while she
massaged me and our less active giggled at us. So strange..

And last story for this week is that we saw a mostly naked man while
looking for a former investigator! He had a very small pair of
underwear on and was a rather large man. It will not be one of my
fondest memories. I'm not sure what he was thinking just opening up
his door with no thought of what he wasn't wearing.

Well I hope that email was a bit more entertaining than some of the
other ones I've written lately. Have a great week!
Love,
Hermana Parkin


New haircut! Not the cutest picture of me but my hair looks good so whatever



Thursday, November 28, 2013

What Are You Thankful For?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It seems as though we'll be having a
rainy Thanksgiving here in the Bronx. I forgot how cold it gets here,
especially when we're walking around everywhere. But it's whatever,
it's worth it. For our celebration tomorrow, a family in the ward
invited us over for dinner and that's pretty much our plans. We can't
really do much as far as proselyting goes because people would hate us
if we interrupted their family gathering. But Thursdays are our weekly
planning days anyways so we're usually at home during the afternoon to
plan out the coming week.

You may have seen the pictures on Facebook but we had a really awesome
street contacting activity yesterday. I was lying in bed one night
thinking about something President Morgan had said to us. He was
talking about how tracting was effective back when he was a missionary
because people were really open to door to door salesman. But now the
times have changed so we have to start thinking outside of the box. So I
was trying to think outside the box and I thought "Hey Thanksgiving is
coming up so we should ask people what they're grateful for. But that
would be lame if we just asked them and then didn't do anything cool.
We should make a turkey. And then everyone can write what they're
grateful for on the feathers!" And then I got really excited. And then
I had to share my excitement with my companion and my roommates and
they all laughed at me and thought I was kind of crazy. But then they
slept on it and must of had really good dreams about how everyone
would love the turkey because when they woke up in the morning and
decided that we should do it. So we did! And it was awesome!! We got
to talk to a lot of people and it was an easy way to start talking to
them about the gospel. Plus it was cool to see what people are
grateful for. One person was grateful that they could still be
walking. Another was grateful that he wasn't homeless. Lots of people
said they were grateful for their family and for God, which made me
happy to know that so many people recognize how important those two

things are.

We also had a really super awesome FHE with a less active family, the
Reyes family, on Monday. They had planned on inviting another family
too so right after we got there, Rosa, the mom of the non-member
family showed up. We had a really great lesson about prayer and then
Rosa told us afterwards that she would like to meet with us again and
that she would like to come to church on Sunday. Rose left before we
did so we asked Hna. Reyes a little more about her. She said that she
had forgotten to invite Rosa and her family and that she just happened
to show up at the same time we were there. Which means that God just
really wanted us to meet Rosa or something. It was a miracle and I'm
super grateful!!

We also had a ward Thanksgiving activity last Friday and we finally
had normal church so we've been meeting a lot more of the members.
They are all super nice and I'm excited to be serving in their ward.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to enjoy time
with your family.


Love,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Seeing Old Friends

Well I don't know that there's that much to share this week. I love
serving back in the Bronx! I haven't met too many of the members yet
because we had stake conference on Sunday but the ones I have met
are awesome. The area is really fun. We're in the northern part of the
Bronx so it's a lot different from my old area in the south Bronx. And
by really different I mean that it's just a little bit less ghetto but
still really ghetto. We're also lost a lot because we don't know any
of the buses in this area but it gets a little bit better everyday. At
the very least we can find our way home name, that's probably most
important so that we don't end up dying on the streets of the Bronx.
Sister Tirado, my new companion, is awesome. We get along really well
and it's always fun to be together. Plus our roommates are awesome so
we're just always having a party.

Stake Conference this past weekend was probably one of the best things
ever. There were really awesome messages. And the best part in my book
is that I'm serving back in the Westchester stake, which is the stake
all of my old wards are in except Danbury. So I got to see a lot of
the members from the Concourse and New Rochelle wards. It was so much
fun!

Also Manuel, one of the investigators we were working with in New
Rochelle, got baptized!! I'm so happy for him. And I talked to Maribel
and she is getting baptized at the end of December. She finally moved
out of the apartment she was sharing with her boyfriend and she really
wants to get baptized. I'm super happy for her too.

I think that's everything for this week. No crazy stories from the
Bronx yet but don't be surprised if there's some next week! :)

Love,
Hermana Parkin


Me and my new companion, Hermana Tirado

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Back to the BRONX!!

Transfer calls are in and this sister missionary is super excited! Why? Because I'm going back to the city!!!! And not only back to the city, but back to the Bronx!! I'm going to the Olmstead ward, which is the east side of the Bronx so we meet in a different building and stuff than my old ward. But I'm still excited. I've been released as a Sister Training Leader and I'm re-opening up an area over there. They used to have two sister areas in that ward and they combined it into one like 6 months ago or something and now my companion and I will be opening the second one back up. So that means whitewashing again. My new companion is Sister Tirado. She's Mexican but I'm pretty sure she grew up in the states. I don't really know much about her and I've never met her but I've heard she's cool. But this means I'll probably be ending my mission in the Bronx, which also means I'll have spent more than half of my mission there! So crazy!

I am also sad to be leaving Danbury though so as always transfers are bittersweet. There were lots of tears on Sunday when Orquidia and Pamela found out that I was leaving. I'm going to miss them and lots of other people so much! Plus, I had a pretty amazing companion and once again, I don't get to spend very much time with her. Does this mean I'm one of those missionaries that no one can stand so they just have to keep sticking me with new people? Because it's pretty rare that I ever stay with one companion for more than 6 weeks...I hope it's the opposite and that God just thinks I can go be companions with whoever and it won't matter because we'll just get along and be friends. haha

It's officially FREEZING here. It kind of snowed yesterday but didn't stick. And it's just super cold and it makes me wonder why I thought it would be fun to end my mission back in the city without a car that has a heater. No actually I think that the Lord knew that I would much rather walk around the city in the freezing cold than the super humid, gross summer. So I'm counting this as a blessing.

We get iPads tomorrow. TOMORROW! It's so weird to think about I don't even know what else to say.

Well hopefully next week will be full of more stories from the crazies of the Bronx. I'm so excited to go back. I think everyone in the mission thinks I'm psycho that I love it there so much but people there are just awesome and there's always some crazy adventure happening. It's going to be the best!

Have a great week! Love you all!
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

So this week has flown by! We've been so busy! On Friday we had the leadership meeting with the NY NY South missionaries. That was really good and I really enjoyed the presentation both of our mission presidents did about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Facebook presentations were a little weird and we're still trying to figure out how to make the best use of these tools but I know it will come with time and once we have the actual equipment, we'll be able to do a lot more.

We had two exchanges as well! I spent Saturday with Sister Westlund in Danbury English. That was a good exchange. I met one of the coolest families too! They are converts of like 10 years or so and they have stayed super active since the whole time they've been members. Their oldest daughter leaves on her mission in December. They're rock stars. Yesterday, I spent the day in Newburgh with Sister Lounsbury. Newburgh is like one of the highest murder capitals in the world. So that was legit. Sisters aren't allowed in the city though so we were safe. (Did I already tell you all that fun fact last time I went on an exchange in Newburgh? Maybe so...) That was a really great exchange as well. I love people able to go and serve with other sisters for a day so that I can have even more people to learn from. It makes life a little crazy but it's really good too.

We all thought we were going to die from TB this week. Pamela called us on Sunday and told us that she had TB so we all freaked out and thought we were all going to get TB and then we'd get sent home early. So anytime we cough or tired or anything, we comment about how we have TB. But she just told us today that she went to the doctor and she's was treated for TB when she was younger and so therefore she will always test positive for TB. Sister Morgan still might have us go get tested just to make sure but we're pretty positive that we're going to live.

Destrie had his baptism on Sunday! He asked me to give a talk about baptism and I basically had no idea what to say. But the baptism as a whole was really awesome! He's so solid and going to be an awesome member of the church!

I think that's all for now. I hope you all have a great week!

Love,
Hermana Parkin



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Well the mission just keeps changing and changing! We had zone conference last Friday and President Morgan announced that starting that same day, all missionaries in our entire mission are approved to use online proselyting. It's crazy! There are now 250 missionaries using Facebook. We will be getting iPad mini's and iPhones right after transfers in November. So my last 12 weeks in the mission, I'll be walking around with an iPad. It's so crazy to even think about! There have been SO many amazing changes since I've been on my mission and so many things have happened that I never even thought about being possible. The Lord really is hastening His work and I'm so grateful that I get to be a part of it as a full-time missionary and then come home and participate in the work as a member missionary.

We have Mission Leadership Council this Friday, which is when all the zone leaders and sister training leaders come together with President Morgan to council together. This time around we will be meeting with the leaders from the NY NY South mission. They have been using Facebook longer than we have so we're assuming that the meeting will be on how we can use it more effectively, which will be awesome because we need more ideas. 

That's pretty much the big news for this week. Destrie is for sure getting baptized on Sunday and I'm super duper excited. He is SO ready for baptism , it's amazing. He's asked me to give the talk on baptism. I'm really grateful that I get to participate in his baptism and that I was able to teach him for a little bit.

We're having a halloween party with our zone today! We're going to carve pumpkins and have a costume contest. Our apartment dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz. I'm Dorothy, Sister Keanini and the lion, Sister McCurdy is the scarecrow and Sister Westlund is the wicked witch. I'll send better pictures next week but here's a quick picture we just took with the computer we're using...

Just so everyone is aware, you're allowed to comment on my Facebook posts. In fact, I would LOVE if you commented on my Facebook posts. Answer the questions I ask. Share your testimony. Who knows who could see it and decide that they need to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We're all in this together and I need your help to make online proselyting effective. Don't ever hesitate to comment on something I post. Please just keep it missionary appropriate. 

Thanks! Love you all!
I hope you all have a great halloween!

Love,
Hermana Parkin


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Came a Little Early

Well Halloween came a bit early for us here in Danbury. We got a referral from a member to work with one of her friends who has evil spirits haunting her. But for real. Not for fake like she's crazy. She played with a weegee board (I have no clue how to even guess to spell that one...) when she was younger and then she got possessed and they she got an exorcism and now she's here still being haunted by Satanous things. She's afraid to go into churches (which makes sense because Satan isn't really a fan of God) but she wants help to get away from all of this stuff. That's where we come in. Except that we're kind of scardy cat girls and told the elders they needed to be there because they have the priesthood. The first meeting was good and she does really want help. But I think the elders are going to take over on that situation because we don't even know what to do with stuff like that and we're secretly a little afraid of anything creepy and weird happening while we're there.

I think President Morgan has forgotten that there are 249 other missionaries in the mission besides me and a lot of them would be great speakers at zone conference. But instead he has asked me, yet again, to give a talk at our zone conference this Friday. I am grateful for the opportunity. However, I feel weird that I get the opportunity again while so many other people probably will never have that opportunity...

We are working with the coolest less active ever. I think I talked about her already - Menoli. She's awesome and wants to come back to church so badly. Plus the elders are working with her boyfriend to teach him about the gospel and he's super awesome too. They make time every day to read the scriptures together and they are participating in some of the ward activities. It's so awesome! I think I'm destined just to work with less actives for the rest of my mission because I love them and feel like I'm able to help them more than I can usually help my investigators. Menoli reminds me a lot of Leydi from New Rochelle. They're both Peruvian and they both have huge desire to have Christ back in their life. It's the best.

Also, I found out that one of the investigators that Sister Brog and I found and started teaching, Manuel, got baptized on Saturday! I'm so happy for him. There were so many miracles during the time we were working with him. I know that he will stay really strong in the church.

I hope you all have a great week and that you don't suffer from too much coldness!

Love you!
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In the City Today


We're in the city this week! We came down to go to the temple with our district. I love being in the city. I love upstate too but the city just has a special place in my heart always.

This week has been great. We're back to the normal flow of things and it's going really well. Sister Keanini is awesome and we have a great time together. I'm really grateful that I get to serve with her. I feel like I learn so much from her every single day.

I realized while I was serving in English last week that I have a seriously distorted view of what a normal serving size of food is. I'm so used to all the hispanic people giving us giant plates that are overflowing with food. So when I was in the English ward and people would give me food, I always thought "Wow, this is like no food. I'm probably going to starve." And then I would eat and instead of feeling like I needed to throw up, I just felt normal and satisfied. It was crazy! I've forgotten how non-hispanic people eat! No wonder I gained so much weight while I've been here...haha

We had stake conference this weekend. The Sunday session was really good but the Saturday night adult session was AMAZING! I was crying for basically all 2 hours of it. There were so many great talks about relying on the Lord for help during difficult trials in our lives. Then to end it, the couple in the Newtown ward that had a child pass away in the Newtown school shooting last year spoke. It was amazing. They went through a huge trial in their lives but the whole time they relied on their Heavenly Father for help and they were able to receive so much comfort. Not only were they so strong during it all but they are a great example of forgiveness and love. They don't hold any grudges against the shooter or his family. They are incredible and it was an amazing conference.

The work here in Danbury is good. We're working with this less active that I'm really excited about. Her name is Menoli and she has a lot of desire to come back to church. Even though she's less active, she's stayed super strong and when her friends have offered her drugs or alcohol, she's always declined. She really wants to get back to where she used to be when she was active. She's awesome! I'm really excited to work with her. Plus her boyfriend isn't a member and she wants to share the gospel with him and he's super nice. He told Menoli that she needed to have us over for dinner one day. haha We took that as a good sign that he likes us.

I hope you're all doing well! Don't forget about how important you are as members to do member missionary work. Us missionaries can't really do anything without you!

Lots of love,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Pictures!

Hermana Parkin was busy downloading pics this week to send to me. Here is a little bit of the letter she sent me (her mom). And some new pictures! They are pictures Shelisa has taken throughout her mission. 

Last week was crazy with the companionship situation! So last Wednesday, we were about to get in the car after transfer meeting and head up to Danbury with the English sisters that are opening an area there. But then the assistants to President Morgan came running over telling me that I needed to go be companions with the sisters serving in Poughkeepsie-Sister Laititi and Sister Skinner. Sister Laititi doesn't have a drivers license and Sister Skinner's license expiered so they had no one that could drive them in their area. So I was assigned to be their driver until Sister Skinner could get a license. It was so much fun to be Sister Skinner's companion again! And I love Sister Laititi too so it was just great. On Friday, we were able to get a license for Sister Skinner so they didn't need me anymore. So they took me back to Danbury and I've been companions with Sister McCurdy and Sister Westlund who are serving in the Danbury English ward. I didn't really know either of them very well so it was fun to get to know them and to serve with them. This morning, we went and picked up Sister Keanini so now I'm finally with the companion I was actually assigned to serve with. It was a fun and crazy week but I'm excited to go back to the Spanish branch and get back into the flow of things.

 In the subway

 At the Empire State Building
 Central Park

 With Hermana Wankier and President Morgan
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm Staying in Danbury!

I am doing really good! Transfers have been really crazy! Sister Wankier is going to North Manhattan and she is going to be a Sister Training Leader with Sister Barker. So basically my two best friends are going to be companions and I'm super excited for them. I am staying in Danbury and my companion is Sister Keanini. She's from Hawaii and she came into the mission at the same time as me but we were in different districts in the MTC so we don't know each other super well. However, she seems super awesome and I'm excited to serve with her. The crazy part of life is that we won't actually be companions until Tuesday even though we had transfers today. There are two new sister area's being opened in the zone that we're Sister Training Leaders for. In one of those areas, the sister who will be opening up the area has been in Salt Lake helping with General Conference for the past couple months and she won't be back in our mission until Tuesday. So Sister Keanini is going to take her spot in that companionship until then. Meanwhile, I was supposed to be in a trio with the sisters that are opening up an English area in Danbury. But at the transfer meeting today, right before we were about to leave, the assistants asked me to be in a trio with a different set of sisters that I have stewardship over because one of them doesn't have a license and the other one's license is expired so neither of them can drive. So until the one sister gets her license renewed, I'm in a trio with them. I'm super excited though because Sister Skinner is the sister that needs to renew her license so I get to be her companion again for a little bit! They're area is an hour away from Danbury though so it's going to be a crazy next week trying to figure everything out. I'm glad that I'll be able to help though.


Besides the craziness of transfers, I don't know that there's all that much to tell. I'm still loving Danbury and all the people here. The work is going really good and we have so many really awesome people that Sister Keanini can start working with when we're actually together.

I hope you're all excited to watch General Conference! It's going to be so good! I LOVED the Relief Society Broadcast. It basically talked all about becoming consecrated, which is what our missions focus is so it was really awesome. I encourage everyone to watch it if you weren't able to see it on Saturday. I know that General Conference is going to be just as spiritually uplifting and instructing. I hope you're all able to prepare to feel that spirit so that you're able to learn what the spirit teaches you.

I love you all!

Love,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Scored!

Hello!
Yesterday we got up at 4:30 so that we could go to a mission conference with Elder Bruce A. Carlson of the 70. It was basically all day long and it was so awesome. He talked to us about consecration and santification and helped us understand more about those things and how we can become more consecrated. He answered so many of the things I have been wondering about it was really special.

We had a really cool opportunity with Facebook the other day. Our investigator Andrelis has been in New York for the past week and so we havn't been able to go and teach her. But the other day, we found her on Facebook and have been able to teach her through that. It's been so cool because it's been a great way to keep making sure that she's progressing while we can't go visit her in person. I'm excited to have more opportunities like this and to keep seeing the benefits of using Facebook so that I actually have the desire to use it more.

Funny little story. Since a lot of hispanics love soccer, we have a soccer night every Friday where we play soccer and invite our invsetigators and everyone else as a way to find new investigators and help our current investigators make some friends in the ward. Each week I get a little bit more brave to kick the ball but mostly I just hang back because I'm terrible at soccer. Well this Friday, there was a point in the game where I somehow all of the sudden had the ball in front of me. I started to kick it down the field and miracuously kicked it past two of the other teams players and into the goal. It was awesome! But then after that happened, everyone started thinking that I actually knew how to play soccer and they would try to pass it to me and I would miss it and look like a fool. haha But at least I can say I made one goal!

I hope you all have a great week!
Love,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quick Email

Quick email this week because we're still in Manhattan (we went to the temple! it was so great!) and have a two hour ride back to Danbury...

We have another baptismal date! Sister Wankier and her companion before me started teaching Andrelis, a young Dominican girl. She has family that are members of the church and she's super interested. But she moved and we couldn't find her for the whole first month I was here. But then last week, we got in contact with her again and she's progressing super fast. She recognizes how much the gospel was helping her when she was being taught a few months ago. She read the first 17 chapters of Nephi in like 3 days. And she accepted a baptismal date for October 27. She's so awesome and we're so excited to be teaching her. It's amazing all the blessings that we've been receiving as we strive to become more consecrated and more like Christ.

I hope you all have a great week. I love you all!

Love,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Big Baptism Weekend


Well the big news for the week is that I'm officially one of the missionaries using online proselyting. All of the zone leaders and sister training leaders had a big training meeting about how to use it on Friday and on Saturday we went out and started to use Facebook. We don't have iPads or iPhones yet and probably won't have them until mid-October so right now we're not using it as much as we will be in the future because we have to use the computers in the Family History Library in Newtown to get on. But it's basically the weirdest thing ever. President almost sent a missionary home for using Facebook and now it's just okay to go on whenever. I can't even explain how weird it is. President has asked us to use our normal Facebook accounts from before our mission, but we have to clean everything up that doesn't relate to our calling as a missionary so right now we're just going through everything we've ever posted in the last 6+ years and hiding or deleting it. It's taking forever. So until I can get everything cleaned up, I won't actually be accepting friend requests from mission people and using it for proselyting. But we are absolutely not allowed to talk to any family or friends through Facebook so unless your not a member of the church and you have questions about the church, please don't try to message me or chat me. I won't answer back. But know that I still love you anyways.=)
 
Also the other really big news is that Orquidia, Chelsea, Hansel and Jose all got baptized this Sunday!! It was literally the best baptism I've ever been to. We had a family getting baptized and a man who's been waiting months to be able to get baptized. They were all so prepared and so excited and it was the most spiritual baptism I've ever been in. I was crying basically the whole time. President Morgan came and he talked to us afterwards and told us how spiritual of an experience it was and how this was a blessing because of our efforts to become consecrated. I'm just so excited for each one of these four people. They are going to add so much to the branch and they are going to be able to share their testimony with so many other people to help other accept the gospel of Jesus Christ as well. It's the coolest!!!
 
I went on an exchange yesterday in Newburgh, NY, which happens to be like the number 9 murder capital in the world. Sisters aren't allowed in the actually city of Newburgh, just the cities surrounding it. But the cities surrounding are pretty ghetto too. We taught lots of people in trailer parks. But it was cool. A new experience to write down in my journal. I'm glad I didn't get shot or anything while I was there. I mean I thought I would be safe from that after leaving the Bronx but I guess not.
 
I hope you are all doing well!
Love,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Obedience Brings Blessings

So on Friday, we had mission leadership council and President asked us to have interviews with all of the missionaries we are leaders for and talk to them about the missions goal to become consecrated. Because I don't know if I've told you this but President Morgan in the zone conference we had last transfer, asked us to start becoming more consecrated missionaries and that if we did that, we would have a blessing of a baptism in September. So Sister Wankier and I have been working really hard to be just a little bit better each day and it's awesome. We see so many awesome blessings every single day. But there are a lot of missionaries that are stressing out about this (as I previously was doing because consecration is huge and until I realized that I can take it step by step, all I thought was, there's no way I can do that.) So yesterday I drove around the entire upstate part of the mission doing interviews with the sisters that I am a sister training leader for. I basically had no idea what I was doing because normally just the district leader gives interviews but they went well. It's hard and sad though because so many missionaries are focusing on the September baptism and trying to figure out who they can baptize in September and they're not even thinking about becoming consecrated. So I'm glad that I had figured things out personally (after a month of not having any idea at all what I was going to do to become consecrated) because then I was able to share with them my own experiences and how the September baptism will come as a blessing of our efforts to become consecrated. Hopefully I helped them a little bit to catch on to what Presidents vision for the mission is. But basically being a leader is hard and I'm not sure what I'm doing most of the time but I'm just praying that something good will come out of my mouth that will help the other missionaries I'm talking to.

Also in Mission Leadership Council, President Morgan announced that our mission is officially a mission using online proselyting. He has received all the training for how the church is going to do online proselyting and the mission is approved to start using it. The zone leaders and sister training leaders will be the first missionaries to start using online proselyting and to get mini iPads and we will be giving all of the other missionaries training on that. So since I'm a sister training leader, that mean I will be one of the first missionaries to start using online proselyting. I haven't decided how I feel about it yet though. I know that it's inspired of God and it's going to be a huge blessing. But it's also going to be a huge responsibility. It's going to be one more thing that as leaders, we have to make sure others aren't abusing. We should be receiving the training this Friday from President Morgan and then we'll have the go to start using online proselyting. It's crazy! I didn't really think we would get to this point while I was still on my mission. But every missionary in the mission is expected to have a missionary Facebook page by December so this is going to be in full swing fast. I don't really know much more than that but I should be finding out more on Friday. It's cool though because I know this is another blessing that the mission is receiving because of our efforts to become consecrated. If the Lord didn't trust us, we wouldn't be one of the first missions to have this ability.

Danbury is still the greatest. I love it just as much as anywhere else that I've served. I really just want to stay here with Sister Wankier next transfer but I'm afraid that she'll go to a different area so that I have a companion who is also a sister training leader. We'll see what happens though.

I hope you are all doing well! The mission is the best and I'm so glad to be here!

Love,
Hermana Parkin

                                    Sister Wankier and Sister Parkin


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Danbury is Awesome!


Hello!

So the news is that Danbury is awesome! I don't know why every time I get transferred, I think I'm being doomed to some terrible place. Because I always love it. I'm pretty sure everyone that lives in Danbury speaks either Spanish or Portuguese, which is awesome. Plus the members are just as cute and all the other members I've served with. And the missionaries that I get to serve around are fantastic and my companion is the best in the land. And we have the coolest investigators even though some of them are really hard to teach (but what's new really with that?) and life is just really awesome. I miss the people in New Rochelle, but I love Danbury just as much as any other place I've served. I hope that I can just finish out my mission here instead of get transferred somewhere else for the last two seconds of my mission.

To elaborate a bit on how my companion is the best in the land, Sister Wankier is basically just an amazing missionary. We get along SO well and we like the same things (especially chocolate chip cookies so that might be a serious problem) and we both want to work hard and we both have the same ideas on how to do missionary work. And we basically think the same too because there are multiple times each day in the lessons where we turn to the other one and say "That's exactly what I was going to say!" Also she wants to speak Spanish with me all day long and that is also the greatest because I always want to do that but don't always have companions that are super motivated to do that. Moral of this story? I LOVE her and life is amazing.

Orquidia and Chelsea, who are two of our baptismal dates are probably some of the most solid investigators ever. Orquidia's sister was baptized a year ago and is super strong in the church and Orquidia has been investigating for about a year. They are finally ready and actually want to get baptized and they are so committed. I mean they basically know everything already but when they learn something new, they are right on board with it because they already have a really solid testimony. Orquidia's son Hansel is also getting baptized and the elders are teaching him. They will all be getting baptized on the 8th of September and this is going to be the first family I've ever seen baptized (Orquidia is divorced) so it's going to be so cool!

Our other investigator that has a baptismal date is Destrie. He's Hawaiian and doesn't speak Spanish...But his girlfriend (who also happens to be best friends with Isamar, who is the daughter of Ingrid, who is Orquidia's sister. So basically everyone we teach is somehow connected to the same family.) was recently baptized into the Spanish Branch and Destrie doesn't want to go to the English ward. He's been and he likes the branch better and says he wants to get baptized in the branch and stay in the branch. It's kind of a weird situation and we don't really know what to do but to do what he wants. He's an awesome investigator too and really has a desire to know for himself that everything we teach is true.

That's some of the basics of life here in Danbury. It's great and I love it and I'm excited to be here!

Hope you're all having a fun first week of school and whatnot!
Love,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

See Ya Later New York!

Well I am here in Danbury, CT! I've been transferred from New Rochelle up here to the Danbury Spanish branch. All I've heard are amazing things about the branch so I'm excited to be here. I'll be serving with Sister Wankier, who I don't really know but who seems awesome so I think it will be a great transfer. I will be serving as a solo Sister Training Leader though so that will be really different.

New Rochelle was so sad to leave. We met with Fernando on Monday and he told us that he wants to get baptized on September 15! I am literally SO stinking excited for him! He has been taught for officially one year and one day today. It's about time he decides to get baptized. He told me that he is going to make sure that I can come back to New Rochelle to be there for the baptism so we'll see if that actually happens...

Last Wednesday we went and did baptisms in the temple with Leydi. Lorena, one of the ward members came with us. It was such a cool experience. Leydi loved it and she said she felt like her aunt had accepted the baptism and confirmation. She's so cute. I miss her so much already! She is going to bare her testimony on Sunday in Sacrament meeting and she is super nervous but I know she'll do an awesome job. She has a super powerful testimony and she'll invite the spirit strongly as she bares it.

I guess that's really all I have to share this week. I'll probably have lots more about Danbury to share next week but I haven't even seen my apartment yet so I pretty much know nothing except for how awesome everyone else thinks it is.

Have a fabulous week!
Love,
Hermana Parkin
This one's for Grandma Staheli! Hermana Parkin folding fabric for a memeber.

Temple Baptisms