Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Puppy Kisses

Okay so this week has some more entertaining stories than normal. New Rochelle just doesn't have as many crazy people as the Bronx did so my funny stories are slim and not as funny as the story about the man that kissed me on the sidewalk...

But this week was full of puppy kisses. We went to this semi-active members house and she was telling us about some of the things that are going on in her life right now and they are really sad, hard things and she was crying and it was really intense. As she's telling us all about these things, her cute little puppy comes up to me and I pet it's head a little and then it starts lick attacking my hand! But it's not that big of a deal because I can wash my hands and I'm trying to listen to this lady so I'm just letting the dog lick me and it's whatever. But then she starts getting to the really intense part of her life situation, and the dog starts to lick my legs and it tickles SO MUCH! So now I'm sitting at this table where she can't see the dog and trying not to laugh in the middle of her sad story. And even when I try to gentle kick the dog away, it won't leave me alone! Luckily, she got a phone call she had to take so she went in the other room and I could get the dog to stop licking me and go away before she came back and I could just pretend like nothing had happened. haha

Ok well actually that's the only funny thing that I can remember happening and like I said, it's really not even that funny. But the coolest thing that happened this week was that I was on a split with one of the other sisters on Saturday and we had this super awesome super spiritual lesson with Fernando (whose family is now all back in Peru). And he finally was like "I have to stop putting all the temporal things first in my life and put the spiritual things first instead." And in my head I'm like "YES! Finally! We're going places now!!" But out loud I say, "So how are you going to do that?" and he responds, "I need to come to church and read the Book of Mormon." And then I almost jumped for joy but kept it together and agreed with him. And then on Sunday, you know who came to church? Fernando!! The first time he's come to church the whole time I've been in this ward! It was so cool and the ward was SUPER welcoming and everyone was saying 'Hi' and the Bishop was asking him why he's not baptized yet and it was great. I'm so excited that he's making progress again because basically he stopped progressing once the mom of his kids came here. President Morgan has asked the mission to set a goal of one baptism per companionship in the month of September and I really would like that person to be Fernando but we'll have to see if he's ready for that.

So I've started a bad habit that's going around the mission. Before I left on my mission, Alyssa would always say that everything was "poopy" instead of "crappy" or whatever other word and so I thought it was funny and would say it to sort of make fun of her. But now that's basically the only word I used when I want to say that something was bad. And I don't even really think about it, it just comes out. Except that I've slowly been passing that habit onto my companions who then pass it on to their next companions and now too many people are running around saying that everything is "poopy." So my new goal in life is to cut out all such words from my vocabulary so that A) I don't sound like a 5-year-old child and B) so that everyone else stops saying it because I'm pretty positive those English missionaries wouldn't get a whole lot of respect from their ward if they're running around calling everything "poopy."

And last quick story is that I called this less active lady we've never met before to set up an appointment with her and when we got to her house she was really surprised and was like "Neither of you are latina." and we're like "Noo..." (We're both blonde and super white so it should be pretty obvious that we're not latina's.) And then she says, "Well the girl I talked to on the phone sounded like she was latina." And then I said to myself (because apparently we can see from these stories that I talk to myself a lot) "YES! I can actually speak Spanish and not sound like a total idiot!" Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of times when I do sound like a total idiot but I'm glad that there are occasions when I actually can speak Spanish correctly.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fireflies vs. Mosquitoes

This week started with fiasco's as a Sister Training Leader. On Monday, we got a call from the assistants to the president asking us to go help a companionship of sisters in Norwalk, CT because they have been struggling with a few different things in their area. They said that President wanted us to go up there as soon as possible. Well, we already planned an exchange with the sisters serving in Stamford, CT and were going to have to drive up there later that night. All of the appointments we had set had called and cancelled on us except for one. So we call the girls in Norwalk and asked if they would be busy in an hour. They said that all of their appointments had also canceled so we decided to cancel our last appointment and drive up there and spend a few hours with them. Their ward doesn't really trust the missionaries because of some things that past missionaries have done there so we brainstormed ideas on how to gain back the wards trust and then split with them and worked in their area for an hour and a half or so. I don't really feel like I didn't anything super special but it felt awesome to be serving them and basically it was like they were more investigators that I was helping progress down the missionary pathway, except that they were way more willing to listen and willing to put into action some of the ideas that we had. So even though I think maybe someone was crazy to give me this calling, I enjoy having more opportunities to serve those around me.

Then that night we split with the other sisters and I took one of them back to New Rochelle with me. She is a sister serving in English and we had 6 appointments on Tuesday and not very many of them spoke English. I felt bad that she just had to follow me around most of the day and didn't have too many opportunities to participate but she said she had a good day. We did meet with two people that speak English so she was able to help with those and that was awesome. Also, we finally met with Leydi again after 2 1/2 weeks. I've been so worried that someone died or something because we haven't been able to contact her. But she was just super sick (I mean I guess that's not a 'just' kind of thing but in comparison to someone being dead) and couldn't do anything because she felt so bad. She's doing a little better now but she's super sad that she can't go to the temple today, which is the day we had planned for. But since she was sick she wasn't able to get a recommend and the temple is closed for cleaning, which we didn't know about before so we wouldn't have been able to go anyways. So our new plan is to go the 14 of August and she's super excited but also sad that she has to wait for so long. Also random side note, am I the only crazy person that automatically jumps to the conclusion of death when something is wrong with someone? Literally, I thought maybe one of her kids had died on their way to Peru and I was really concerned about it....

I keep forgetting to tell you about the bug dilemma I'm having here in New York. About a month ago I discovered fireflies! They are probably the coolest bug on the planet, which says a lot because bugs are gross. But they make the night all sparkly and it's so cool! But also when the fireflies are out, so are the mosquitoes and apparently I'm just super attractive to those mosquitoes because I literally get another bite every night. It's the worst! So I think I'm going to have to sacrifice seeing the fireflies to also avoid the mosquitoes so that my legs will stop looking like I have the chicken pox.

Yesterday was a super sad day. Fernando called and told us that when Lourdes (the mom of his kids) goes back to Peru on Thursday, that Fernando Jr. is going to go with her. I'm so sad!! I stinking love that little kid and he doesn't really understand that I probably won't be here anymore when he gets back in September. So we went over yesterday to say goodbye. I'm glad Fernando won't be leaving though because he is also super awesome even though sometimes I am annoyed because he won't stinking come to church.

Ok I think that's all my random ranting for now. Here's a few pictures for you all to enjoy.

Hermana Parkin

Picture 1: Our 5-panionship on the 4th of July. So festive!
Picture 2: Me with Fernandito, Lourdes and Antonela.
Picture 3: Me and Sister Brog with Maribel. (Clearly from these pictures, we see that I am a huge fatty giant in comparison to all the shorty Latino people I serve around....)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lunch With My Dad!!!


Not too much to report from this week. It's been a pretty normal week as far as missionary work goes. I'm not sure if I've mentioned Manuel yet but he's a newer investigator and reminds me a lot of Felix from the Bronx. It's kind of hard to teach him because he has so many questions that are pretty deep and we don't really have good answers for him, especially in Spanish. Luckily we've had awesome members to help us out. But one of the members that is helping is a man so unless we also find a third women, we have to meet somewhere public. So the last time we met with him, we met at the church and since we couldn't be inside with just men, we took chairs outside and sat in front of the doors in our chairs. We looked ridiculous I'm sure because normal people would just go inside and not have any problems.But we missionaries have to be safe and not have any chances of getting attacked by men so we meet awkwardly outside of the perfectly air conditioned and clean and quite chapel. haha I wish we could have taken a picture to send to President Morgan to show him that we are being obedient!

The stake had a meeting with us on Sunday and told us that they want to have 120 people at church on August 11, which is when we have Ward Conference. We had 65 people there this past Sunday. So we have a lot of work to do. The stake really doesn't want all the work to fall onto the missionaries, but realistically that's probably what will end up happening so we're trying to spend our time finding less actives that we don't know about and get them back to church in the next month. It's going to be crazy but I know that as we put forth all of our efforts the Lord will bless us with miracles.

President Morgan is letting my Dad and I have lunch together today while he's in town for work! I'm so excited!! So we're going to head out to go do that!

Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sister Training Leader

This week hasn't been too eventful. Yesterday was our last day working in the weird 5 people in 3 areas situation. It's been a crazy week because of that. We have been working with Hna Dalley most of the time and that has been fun. She was companions with Hna Barker in the MTC and they have similar personalities so I enjoyed working with her. We did our best to work in each area as much as possible but it's hard not to feel like I haven't seen anyone in my area because we weren't working there full time. It will be nice to get back to just focusing on the people in New Rochelle.

Transfers are today and I will be staying here in New Rochelle. Sister Brog is getting transferred to Yonkers, which is where we live and literally the ward next door to New Rochelle. She won't even be leaving the apartment; she just has to switch bedrooms. We're super sad that we won't be companions because we thought we would stay together for one more transfer but we're glad that we're still living together. I have also been called as a Sister Training Leader. If you haven't heard about this, it's a new calling the church has created for missions now that there are so many sisters serving missions. I guess it's sort of like a zone leader but just for the sisters. My companion, Sister Richey, and I will be the sister training leaders for our zone and the Stamford zone which is the zone next door in Connecticut. I don't really know what all of our responsibilities are. I just know that we'll be working with 7 other companionships and we will be going on exchanges with each companionship at least once a transfer. We'll also be going to the leadership meetings with President Morgan and the zone leaders which maybe means I get to know some mission secrets? I don't really know. haha We're supposed to get some training this next week to find out more about what we should be doing.

I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July. We didn't really do much. There were a lot of BBQ's going on, even in the Spanish wards, but we already had appointments and stuff and then we had to be home early so that we didn't die from explosives or something. Unfortunately, we couldn't see the fireworks from our apartment either due to a huge tree right in front of our window. So we just chatted and listened to the fireworks.

That's about as exciting as mission life goes right now. Things are still really good and I'm enjoying working in New Rochelle. I love the people so much so I'm glad that it's not quite my time to leave.

I hope you all have a fabulous week.
Hermana Parkin

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Five Person Companionship

There is so much to tell you, I don't even know where to start really. There were a couple things I forgot to tell you last week that I'll share now.

We ran into Maribel on the street last Tuesday and she said that her son, who was in immigration jail for crossing the boarder, got released and is getting sent to New York. He got here on Friday and we still haven't met him yet. But we're all a little confused about how he got released, including all of the members. But Maribel says this is the solution to all of her problems, which it sort of is so we're happy for her. We really want to set a baptismal date but she still has to find a new apartment for her and her son so that she isn't living with her boyfriend.

There was a ward birthday party a week and a half ago. Nothing super special however we did have an awesome game of duck, duck, goose and all the adults played. It was soooo funny to see all these moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas running around playing duck, duck, goose. I love that in the Latino culture, people just want to have fun and enjoy themselves and it doesn't matter if they have to play little kid games to do so.

The city was fun last p-day. It was so good to see Sister Barker. Her companion, with some other missionaries that are leaving in the next 2 transfers, went to see the play Wicked so Sister Barker just hung out with Sister Brog and I all day. We just walked around the city and Central Park. The cool part of the day was when we went back to the theater to drop Sister Barker off, we saw a famous guy!! I don't even know his name so that's embarrassing a little bit. But we got his autograph and a picture with him. He is one of the actors in the TV show Glee. He plays Jessie. So that was basically awesome and I thought Sister Barker was going to die from excitement. I've included a picture for your enjoyment.

This week has been crazy! So, there are three Spanish sister areas in our zone: Yonkers, New Rochelle and White Plains. On Thursday, one of the White Plains sisters went home so the other sister didn't have a companion. One of the Yonkers sisters has been really sick with migraines and can't always go out and work. So President met with the 5 of us on Sunday and decided that we would all be a weird 5 person type companionship for 10 days until the transfer ends. Sister Dalley, who is working in White Plains moved up to our apartment, where we live with the Yonkers sisters. But we're still supposed to be working in all three areas. Except that depending on whether or not Sister Sheets (the sister with the migraines) can go out depends on how many areas we can go to in one day because someone has to stay home with her. So each day is a big complicated mess of who is going where with who. We decided that as much as possible, original companions should stay together. So Sister Brog and I have been together the whole time, which has been good because I get weirdly attached to my companions and never want to leave them. Sister Dalley is also with us most of the time so it's a fun little trio for a good majority of the time. But its really hard to plan for lessons because we never really know what area we'll be working in or if one of us will need to stay in with Sister Sheets and then we can only work in one area instead of two. It's crazy!! I swear that these kinds of situations just seem to be attracted to me. But it's fine because even though its crazy, it's kind of fun and I've already learned a lot about patience and love in a short amount of time.

I hope you are all doing well!

Hermana Parkin

                                      The Yankee's Game

                            Hermana Parkin's little accident.

        Sister Sheets made Hermana Parkin a cake for her birthday!

                     The "famous guy" from the TV show Glee.