Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Watch Out Yankee's Fans, Here Come the Missionaries!


I pretty much feel like nothing eventful happened in the past week so this will be a short one...

Today was transfers and Sister Brog and I are staying here in New Rochelle, which is basically what we expected to happen. We're excited to stay. I'd prefer not to be here as long as I was in the Bronx, mostly because I just love serving in the city too much but I'm really excited for the next  6 weeks. Our area finally feels like a real, normal area and we're excited to see what else lies in store. Our investigators and less actives are doing well. They all have some serious problems but I know that God will continue to help them overcome those problems. The ward is getting more and more excited about helping us with the work so that makes our lives a zillion times better. 

Next Wednesday is the only Wednesday this season that the Yankee's will be playing a game on a p-day and so basically the whole mission is going to the Yankee's game. We all bought super cheap nosebleed seats but who really cares. I mean lets be real about Sister Parkin's sports knowledge. Although I've been to a few baseball games, I pretty much go just to socialize. But in a week from now, I can say that I've been to a Yankee's game and I'm pretty much a Yankee's bandwagon fan because how can I not be a fan when their stadium is in my old ward boundaries?

That's pretty much as exciting as my life gets right now. The mission is the best, as usual. I still think it's crazy that I've been here for so long because didn't I just get here yesterday? 

I hope all of you are doing well!!

Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Probably Won't Make it Home Alive....

So the big news in New York is that it's officially THE HOTTEST PLACE EVER! I mean probably not really and I should stop complaining because there are starving children in Africa that have to live in worse heat. But I pretty much am really grateful that I'm only going to be serving here for one summer because this humidity stuff is no fun. It makes 80 degree weather feel like 180 degree weather. And I don't know why anyone would want to talk to me as I walk around with big poofy humidity hair and a red face. Hopefully some nice person wants to know about the gospel enough that they'll overlook these slight mishaps...

The real big news is that last week Sister Brog and I went to the temple. And as we were in the temple waiting for the elevator to go up to the clothes rental floor, the elevator door opened up to a crowd of people. And the first person in that crowd of people to step out of the elevator was who, you might ask. Well it was Elder Dallin H. Oaks. And the rest of that crowd was Elder Dallin H. Oaks's family. And as they came out of the elevator they all shook our hands. It was THE COOLEST! Unfortunately he was a little busy on his way into the streets on Manhattan so he couldn't really stay and chat but it was basically the coolest way ever to start our temple trip.

If any of you have been on lately, you might see a picture of two elders contacting on the street of New York. Those two elders happen to be serving right here in the New York, New York North mission. One of them is currently an AP and the other is my old zone leader. The kid their talking to is President Morgan's son. So basically their famous and I obviously think it's really awesome.

That's kind of all the excited news for now. I know, not the best email ever. Our investigators are still doing good and the area is getting better and better every day. We had stake conference this past weekend and a least 50% if not more was all about missionary work and how the ward can use the missionaries better. Since Sunday, the bishop has given us three different people that he would like us to visit, which has been great because we finally feel like we're getting some direction from the ward on what they need us to do. I can't believe I've already been here in New Rochelle for almost an entire transfer. I'm excited to see what next transfer will bring for our area and the ward.

I hope all is well with all of you!

Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Sunday to Celebrate

I hope you all had a great mothers day and celebrated how awesome your mom is!

Clearly the best part of my week was skyping my family. But in other mother's day news, our ward had a mother's day party and of course it started at least an hour late and 5 minutes before it starts the second counselor in the bishopric tells us missionaries that we need to plan something for the show their doing and that we're not allowed to sing a hymn because that's what the missionaries always do and that's boring. Since we were low on time and resources, we ended up spelling the word 'madre' (mom in spanish) with our bodies and shouting out words that start with those letters to describe mom. We pretty much thought everyone was going to think it was lame but we didn't have any better plans. Sister Brog and I got stuck doing the letter R which was extremely difficult so I ended up laughing the whole time. But apparently the ward thought it was really cool because they made us stand there for an extra 5 minutes while everyone took pictures of us. I've included a picture so that you can all see how awesome and ridiculous we looked.

We also got to go to Connecticut for a dinner appointment this week. That was fun! I mean it didn't really look any different or anything but now I can say that I've been to CT so that makes it cool in my book. We were in Greenwich, which is right above our ward boundaries but it was a Portuguese family and the boundaries for the Portuguese members is a lot bigger since there aren't very many Portuguese wards.

Sunday was probably the best day ever. After talking to my awesome family, we went to church and confirmed that our investigator Maribel would be coming to church so we were grateful for that. Then we get a phone call from a less active named Leidi (pronounces Lady) that we've been working with for about 3 weeks. We had a really awesome lesson with her on Friday and talked about how she can feel more peace in her life when she comes to church and takes the sacrament. She told us that she wanted to come to church but that she wasn't sure if she would be able to make it. So when she called us, she was calling to tell us that she was on her way but that she was lost. It was basically the best phone call ever. We were so excited to have her there. Then later on as we're sitting in Gospel Principles, one of the members comes in and pulls us out of the class and standing by the doors are Fernando and Fernando Jr. They've been to church before but not since we started teaching them so we were super excited to see them. Fernando told us that they had made a promise that they would come to church and so here they were. But that they couldn't stay because Fernando Jr.  had to go to the hospital. He had a bad allergic reaction and his eyes were all swollen up. It was so cool that even though they couldn't stay for church that they recognized the importance of being there and so they came just to tell us why they weren't coming. It was a really special Sunday and we are so grateful for God's help in prompting all these people to come to church to partake of the sacrament and learn more about the gospel.

Also we visiting with Leidi yesterday and she told us that she felt really good at church and that she is going to start coming every week and that she wants to start working towards going to the temple and that she would like a calling in the ward. We're so excited to keep helping her progress to full activation in the ward. She's going to be a great member of the ward!

You're all awesome! Thanks for everything that you do for all the missionaries.

Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Drunk People Are Weird


Things have been going really well here in New Rochelle. I really love the people that I get to work with. The ward is a little bit harder than my last ward though because we discovered in ward council last Sunday that the ward isn't really interested in being involved with missionary work. There are individuals who want to help and who want to come to appointments but as a whole, the ward doesn't really care and so we don't have a lot of guidance or a ward mission plan or anything. But every place I serve is going to have different challenges and different situations so this is just something else that we have to figure out how to work with. The stake is doing a big training on how the missionaries are here to support the wards and how to use the missionaries so we're hoping that will help the ward understand that we are here to help them in whatever way but that we need a little bit of direction to do so.

We had a zone conference yesterday so we got to go down to the Kingsbridge chapel (where my old ward met) to meet with our zone, my old zone, the other zone in the Bronx , the assistants and with President and Sister Morgan. I love that I work so close to my old area because then I still get to see all the friends I made in my old zone. However the stinking assistants called me on Sunday and asked me to talk during the conference so that wasn't very much fun. I should never be friends with elders that could possibly be future assistants because then stuff like this happens. I always knew that Elder Hajje would one day be an assistant and now that he is, I get stuck talking at zone conference because he thinks I'm a good missionary or something. Besides that part, the conference was really good though and we learned a lot. 

Our investigators are still doing well but also still pretty much the same as last week. But little by little they will get their difficulties resolved because they have the desire to get baptized, they just need to follow the commandments a little better....easier said than done though.

We have a new family that we're teaching. They are super nice and love to talk to us. We're going to have some word of wisdom issues though because they keep offering us alcohol, even though we've already told them we don't drink alcohol. They keep telling us "Oh but you have to try just a little bit of a margarita! It's so good!" or "What about just one shot of tequila?" So that's a concern but for now we're going to focus on the basics and try to help them gain a testimony of the restoration and whatnot before we start telling them what they can and can't do.

Speaking of alcohol, Sister Brog and I seem to magnets for drunk people. We keep running into drunk men that want to talk to us about God. It's really weird and not the coolest. One of them tried to hug me the other day and I tried not to freak out and run away as I patted his shoulder and walked away. Another one started crying and kissing our hands. Drunk people are weird. Especially when you start talking about God. Hopefully this next week can be drunk people free...

I hope all you mothers have a great mother's day and that you all tell you're mom's how great they are. I know my mom is the greatest and better than all of your moms. =]

Love you all,
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Salt Lake City vs. Oakland

This week was significantly more exciting than last week! So, I realized that in my email last week, I forgot a very important detail about the area I'm now working in. We were driving through it one day and the GPS was taking us some crazy way and as I'm looking around at the houses and stuff I realized that my area is a perfect mix of downtown Salt Lake City and Oakland. It SO WEIRD! We have a really nice downtown part where the church is and it's all hip and cool looking. And then right next to that is the legit ghetto. Five blocks over you run into the rich nieghborhood that is surrounded by more ghetto. It's the strangest thing. But I like the ghetto and I like the downtown so I guess I like this weird mix of perfect SLC and crime capital Oakland. Minus I think there isn't really crime here. More than what is normally around I mean.
Saturday was a crazy day! We were able to drive up to somewhere like an hour and a half further upstate to help the stake clean a Liahona camp they use for girls camp. None of the members ever go to help so President Morgan volunteered all of the missionaries in our stake, which also means I got to spend a good part of the day with all of the missionaries from my old zone! It was the best! Then that night there was a stake activity in our chapel, so I got to see all the members from both of my old wards. It was so much fun! I just stinking love them so much!
I also just stinking love this ward too! There are a lot more members that have been members for their whole lives and gone on missions and stuff so the ward is a lot more functional. Everything runs pretty smoothly and there are actually people to teach the classes and stuff. I had forgotten how wards really run things so it's kind of refreshing. It's also sad though because there are a lot of people that have harder problems than the people in my old ward. Instead of dealing with a dysfunctional ward, everyone has personal problems like people dying or abuse of many different kinds or addictions. It's really sad and we feel sort of useless to help them with those things.
We are working with some awesome investigators. First we have Maribel. I think maybe I mentioned her last week? But she's been investigating for about a year and she can't get baptized because she is living with a guy she's not married to and she doesn't really want to marry him. But she also doesn't have money for her own apartment. So the elders told her she couldn't get baptized and she took that as she couldn't be a member of the church. Technically, that is true. She can't be an official member of the church. But through some awesome talks and lessons at church on Sunday and a couple lessons that we've taught her, we've been able to help her realize that while she might not be able to get baptized right now, she can still do everything that a member does and then when she is able to get baptized, she's already ready and prepared and living her life as a member. She was so excited once she figured that out! She went on and on about how she's going to come to church every Sunday and how she's going to pay tithing. She's the cutest! Now we just have to figure out how to get her to move out of her apartment....
We are also working with Fernando and his son Fernando. They are the cutest little family ever! Fernandito (little Fernando) basically runs the show. After each appointment he'll say "I'm available tomorrow at 5 if you want to come then." It's the funniest and we love him. However, we don't love that he get's really distracted in lessons and stops paying attention. Luckily, we figured out that if we only stay for 30 minutes, he'll pay attention to most everything. They have been investigating the church for a while as well. Fernandito LOVES it and wants to get baptized. But Fernando wants to make sure that he understand why he should get baptized and what he had to do if he gets baptized (like come to church every week and stuff). Fernando also likes the church and has a lot of faith. But he's afraid that if he get's baptized that he'll mess up and not be able to keep the commandments and then he'll fall away from the church. Both of those are real concerns and we don't want either of them to get baptized unless they really understand and have faith that they can stay strong in the church. But we're also trying to help Fernando understand that we all make mistakes and we're all still trying to follow the commmandments. But they're awesome and we love working with them. It's been cool too because we have to take a female member with us because there are no girls that live in the house. So we've been able to see how awesome the members are as they bear their testimonies and try to help. It's the greatest.
Ok I think that's all. I hope you are all enjoying the nice weather and loving life!
Hermana Parkin