Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!


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

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

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

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!
Hermana Parkin

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