Sunday, August 11, 2013


It's true. The Arizona Phoenix Mission has been piloting the iPads and iPhones for like 3-4 months now (just one district of 8 has them) and now our zone leaders and sister training leaders are on FACEBOOK! The rest of the mission should be on by the end of the month. I'm supposed to email my family and friends this link but I'm not allowed to go to it myself since it's not a church website haha (lol how ironic, right?):
Got em? Okay! It's supposed to explain how you can be of use and not distracting to us on Facebook. Online proselyting! We'll get an hour a day but everyone seems to be using a lot of that hour to clean up their facebook profiles haha. I'm still not quite sure on how it works. No word if we'll be trained this week on it or not. Probably not. Oh well!

Anyway so good times! This morning we went all the ways out in the boonies to Wickenburg with our district and hiked Vulture Peak. It took like 2 1/2 hours. Long. But so worth it! The weather was positively gorgeous out there, and it was fun to do something with our district. Felt like I was on vacation! Sister Franz and I are embarrassingly very sore though.

Funny stories at church too (just Sun City West really). Everyone knows that I'm going home soon because the bishopric keeps announcing it. Weird.
But anyway this one really tall guy, Brother Neilson, came up to me before Relief Society and said, "Well, it sounds like you're going home soon."
"That's very true."
"Well... find a guy about this tall [here he measures about a foot above my head], grab onto him and say, 'This is eternity!'"
Oh my goodness we laughed so hard. I told him that was the plan and was grateful to be supported in it haha.
I bore my testimony in that ward too. So they announced after I spoke that I was leaving soon. Wow. I don't think they're eager to get rid of me.... And then that morning in ward council Bishop and our ward mission leader were telling us how awesome we are and how grateful to have us when our Relief Society president (sitting next to me) said, "Well I hope we keep sisters because I know one of them is leaving soon. I don't want to say anything but she's sitting really close to me." They're just so funny. They're making going home a lot easier because they're so funny about it and help me to start accepting it without overthinking or getting stressed about it. Maybe that's bad (trunky?) but I don't really care. It's working so far.
And oh my goodness EVERYONE was talking about the new movie in the temple. So Mom and Dad, it looks like we need to go to the temple when I get home! And Taylor, we're totally going in Utah (Hannah you can come too - we'll meet up later :) )!

Ha and I got your letter today, family. Haha I just read it fast and put it away. Y'all are so funny! Just as bad as Trace and Fisher who both emailed me telling me how happy they are to see me. Oh my goodness. I will try and focus for the next week hahahaha.

I sent a thank you card to the ward! I'll try and write another one this week. I got a ton of food and a gift card which was AWESOME!
Yes, Sister Bruckman had someone waiting for her. She didn't know that he was waiting to marry her though. She just thought they were nice friends and wasn't it so nice that he wrote her her whole mission and sent her packages and prepared a surprise for her birthday (yeah... no one does that unless they're going to marry you... duh Sister Bruckman).
Hahahahaha I can't believe you just left Taylor in the temple! Oh my gosh that is so funny. Why didn't anyone go with you and tell you what to do! I would have died without Lizzie and Sister Grimmer there to help me. Oh my goodness that was hilarious. You two are wonderful. How brave to always go first and headlong in things!

We just got a call from the office actually telling us that there's a senior missionary couple that just got here today and they're proselyting, so they're going to be assigned to our Sun City West ward with us! Crazy!

Boy I always feel like I have so much to talk about and then I sit down to write and I have nothing! Let's go through the week:

Monday: We take FOREVER at emails. Oh my goodness it's funny though because I get to watch all the movies and clips I want on Nothing crazy for the rest of the day. Trying to see addresses to see if people have moved, offer prayers, and then we had a lesson with Casey that evening. He totally knows it's true and is coming up with a whole bunch of excuses he knows are silly.

Tuesday: Had an appointment with Joyce and set a date for her to be baptized on September 7th! Very exciting. She is so sweet and accepts things so quickly. All the members we've brought over to meet her think she's wonderful. We do too! After that we ran over to Larry's. He lost his wife about a month ago and was about to leave for Seattle for a memorial service. We helped make sure things were ready for the sale they were going to have that weekend while we was gone and the slideshow he'd prepared. He started asking questions about what happened to his wife, and we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to him. He liked it and took comfort that both he and his wife knew where she was going. I love that we can know that. Then we drove over to Peoria so that Elder and Sister Rodgers could take us out to lunch at Olive Garden for our perfect car. Sister Pilcher and her companions were there too, so it was nice to see her again (she left the next day after getting an extension) and lunch was nice. A little long haha, but nice. We had an appointment with a lady that we met on the street. Turns out she's a member! Hasn't been active since high school and has like 5 little boys I think. It was one fun house haha. That night we had an FHE of sorts with a family. The son was baptized a year or so ago and the parents struggle to come to church.

Wednesday: Oh things. We spent a lot of time in Sun City West. I'm not actually sure what happened on Wednesday. Seems like it was an okay day :)

Thursday: We found out that a lady in my last area moved into our area! She wasn't there though when we went by before our trainer/trainee meeting. It was so sad to say bye to people like Elder Knabe, Sister Barnett, and Sister Follett. Boy boy boy. We had a nice dinner that night with a family that have two Young Women who love us (we love them!!!!!!!!). Their dad is not active in the church and we were told that he probably wouldn't want to talk to us. But it was awesome! Dinner was running late, so we decided to share the message then (we had brought the Mormon Messages DVD). It worked! He totally listened and then we had an awesome dinner. He told us to come back! Very nice. His daughters were really happy. I probably puffed that up to more than it actually was, but that's okay.

Friday: Zone meeting! We talked about the new Facebook thing and a whole bunch of "tighten up" rules that President Taylor gave to us. We talked about the people we're working with. Our zone leaders did a great job! It was so spiritual! And then at the end I got to bear my testimony (departing missionaries always do that). It was nice. Very nice. Then we had an appointment with Charlotte who has taken the lessons before but hasn't been baptized yet. She had a ton of questions about the Restoration. Sister Franz and I were in such unity it was awesome. We totally knew what each other where going to do. Then we had an appointment with Joyce who is so great!

Saturday: We went to do baptisms for the dead with Emily! She had brought 6 family names and it was SO SPIRITUAL. Everyone in the room was crying. Oh my goodness. Then we met up with the Hermanas in Peoria for an exchange. Hermana Hansen came with me to our area and Sister Franz went to Peoria. We met a lady for a lesson, finally saw Andrea who just moved into our area and who I knew in Peoria. She was happy to see us and we invited her to church.

Sunday: A ton of people at church! We were so blessed. Everyone came up to meet Hermana Hansen who told them she was leaving in a couple hours.
Anyway. I'm kind of done now.
Life is great though! I just love it :)
I love y'all tons. Really though. And I hope all is well.
See you later!
Love, Sister Parks

It's the end of July! - July 29, 2013

Phew only one more hot month here in Arizona. Then it will just be warm :)

Everyone emailed me this week! NICE WORK FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Ha and formerly Sister Bruckman now Jennifer who was my companion twice in Prescott and North Phoenix and who went home 10 weeks ago is now engaged. Just got the email. LOL. I can't even handle all the changes that have happened while I'm gone. I think it's hitting me today how much I'm going to have to learn and accept very quickly.

Also hahahaha y'all will enjoy this hopefully: last week I was watching some church films on I decided to watch Jonny Lingo and felt SO UNCOMFORTABLE with the "romantic" scenes. Oh dear.

Went on exchanges this past week to Bethany Home. It was really weird. I got to see Sunday and Neyo, and I talked to Bijonn on the phone which was nice. I found out the Carlos and his family just up and left one day and no one knows where they are :( That was sad.

I think it's still monsoon season. It's slightly humid and sometimes we see lightning so you know.

Hahaha on Pioneer Day we tried calling the office. A missionary answered and said that they're closed which we were so confused about for like 5 minutes until Sister Franz remembered the date. I so do not understand Pioneer Day lol. Isn't that funny that our mission office was closed over here in Arizona?

AND I GOT THE MOST AMAZING PACKAGE FROM OUR WARD :) I love our ward! It's amazing. And good because Sister Franz and I are both out of money this month haha so the food was perfect timing hahahaha.

Joyce is doing well. She showed up at church on Sunday. Sister Vallejo and Sister Franz had a wonderful lesson with her on Friday while we were on exchanges.

We supposedly have a trainer meeting this week and zone meeting as well. Should be exciting! I love meetings :) Oh and this past week I received my flight itinerary and the schedule for my exit interview and arrival at the mission home. It has been a very interesting week :(

Mom and Dad! Thank you for the conversion story! I read it during church again and just loved it all over again. What about when you went to the temple? What was the date for that? I was a little embarrassed that I didn't know the date of your baptism. Whoops! What happened at the temple? Was it a lot like your baptism when a bunch of people showed up too?

Mom, I will be more than happy to detail your car. Give me the funds, and I'll perform the labor :) Dad, I honestly don't know how we did it. Mostly just attention to wiping down everything, making it shiny and organized, and vacuuming EVERYTHING. It's just details that most missionaries (like my companion haha) don't think, care about, or take the time for usually. The backyard looks SO GREEN! Oh I will be happy to see so much green again! I will also be happy to do service, Dad. It will be so nice to not feel pressure on doing things wrong haha. It's nice to do service for your own family because it's not that bad if it's wrong.

Well. I'm going to continue enjoying the day. Life is fast approaching in a weird way.
Love y'all much!

Pictures: In Sun City West and Sun City, the trash cans are in the ground. Hers was broken, so I couldn't show you how to open it (you stand on it with your foot). She claimed it's because of the coyotes (which I've seen 3 of since we've been here) but we all know the real reason - old people can't open a trash lid on their own and throw a bag at all, so it's in the ground that they can operate with their foot and drop in. True story.

CLOUDS! - July 22, 2013

Last week, the lady we live with had 2 of her sisters staying there, too. I think we had nightgown parties every night. It was awesome. I love 80-year-old women :)

And then this week like every day was cloudy!!!!!!!!!!!! A monsoon came in one night, but I slept right through it (I've been so tired this week). It was usually between 95 and 105 degrees which was AWESOME! It's supposed to get hot again later this week though :(

Also Family, congratulations on not making me trunky. My friends are way worse hahahaha. Oh dear. I finally just tell people that I'm leaving soon and don't try to lie about it anymore. I'll never be the missionary I assume everyone expects me to be, so I'll just be the missionary I am and continue to try to improve :) And I've been getting some great advice about going home.

We met a wonderful lady this past week named Joyce. She lives in the Sun City West Ward (aka our old people ward).
Background on her (which is so cool!!!!!!!): It actually starts in California. There are some kids who become friends with some other kids at school who happen to be LDS. Through the acquaintance of the kids, the parents make friends and end up being able to share the gospel. The whole family is baptized!
Enter Joyce - her daughter is the mother in the family that got baptized. Their family had been experiencing a lot of problems, but Joyce noticed how much better things were just in the few months that they had joined the church (amazing what the gospel does, isn't it?). She went to church with them in California and really enjoyed herself. Her daughter told her that she should check out the church in her own area. Whether she knew her ward was at 9 or not, I'm not sure, but she ended up going to the family ward at 11 that the elders cover. But listen to how inspired a choice this was - both Elder Nokes and Elder Stevens were speaking in church that day, and Joyce was completely entranced and moved by what they were saying. She went up to the elders after sacrament and told them that she was investigating the church and wanted to learn more. Yes, this is a true story.
Sister Franz and I were eating some food in the kitchen right after this, and the elders found us and told us the story. They told us Joyce was currently in Sunday School and planned on attending Relief Society, too, and that they would track us down afterward. So she stayed for all 3 hours of church! And then we talked with her a little bit and set up an appointment for Tuesday. She is so sweet and wonderful. Her husband is a little anti right now, but she said that she hopes he'll see her example all the changes in her life. She definitely has some struggles right now but is so into learning more about the gospel. This past weekend she was in St. George and told us she was going to go look at the temple there. And we called her on Thursday after we'd given her a copy of the Book of Mormon on Tuesday and she was like 7 chapters in! Alma 13:24 continues to have such relevance and reality to me. Miracles happen every day! And all because a family (especially the children) weren't afraid to open their home, hearts, and love of the gospel with their friends. It's amazing!

OH AND HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO: I have officially never lost a car inspection. Sister Franz and I received another perfect car award which means that Elder and Sister Rodgers will be taking us out to lunch. Elder Rodgers said to everyone as he was presenting the awards, "Now, last April Sister Parks got a perfect car on a brand new car, making it look better than when we first bought it." He shrugged his shoulders like that wasn't a big deal and then continued, "But this time she and her companion took this smelly elders car and turned it into a queen's coach!" I didn't bother to tell him that the car had been in the hands of sister missionaries for the past four-six months or so, but that's okay. It was so funny. And I'm so happy!!!!!!!!!! I'm not quite sure how much of this ability to clean cars will carry over into real life, but at least I contributed to the mission :)

I'm going on exchanges back to my 3rd area of Bethany Home and am SO PSYCHED. I'm trying not to get too excited but it's super hard. I love and miss that area so much. I wish I was with Sister Vallejo again, but she'll be here in my area with Sister Franz and I'll be with her 2 trainees which should be fun :)

Ha funny slash awkward story: we have been helping out one of our investigators, Larry. His wife was a less-active member and passed away a few weeks ago. We went by one night to share a message with him. He seemed really tired but we weren't sure why. So we put in a Mormon Message dvd and start watching it. About 7 minutes in (it was a long 25-minute special one), Sister Franz gets my attention and points out that Larry is dead asleep. He starts snoring soon after. We look at our watches and figure it's probably okay to leave (only after making some noise to see if he'll wake up). He's totally out, and we turn off the dvd player, tv, some lights, and end up making a ton of noise but he's still snoring through it all!

We were ridiculously busy this week - always running around, and the all-day meeting on Wednesday didn't help either haha. But interviews were good! I feel like my interviews with President have only gone two ways: either super emotional and long with me crying the whole time or calm, collected, and short. Last time in April was the former, and then last week was the latter. It's funny :) I'll get one more "exit interview" with President before I leave. Maybe I'll be weepy in that one hahahaha.

Ahhhh thank you so much for the conversion story!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When did you meet the Andersons then? I love our family friendship. SO CUTE. What were your first callings?

Mom, the Parks Jeopardy game looks so cool! You are so smart :) Where were you on the coast? South Padre? Port Aransas? Hannah is so cute. Any pictures? Taylor thanks for the pictures from California! Natalie looks like a princess as usual :) I'm glad you had fun! I thought Jen was in New York though. Was all the construction at USC done from when we were last there? And you're definitely right about writing down memories. I still use my voice recorder about half the time, but now I'm also using my written journal too and taking time each day to write down something else from my mission that I remember. A lot of it is just funny or cute things that I doubt will be important to anyone else, but I like them and like remembering them :) And yes, I remembered the story of the 3 blind men and the elephant, but where had I heard that before? How did I know it?

Well that might be it for this week. Hope this was a good email with lots to laugh about. Should be another exciting week (not nearly as busy so far) but exchanges will be so awesome. I love exchanges! But I love y'all way more - no worries!
Sister Parks

so the library is really crowded today - July 15, 2013

I might not have time to write for very long (it might kick me out after an hour). So we're just gonna go for this!
Our wards were SO SMALL yesterday. Everyone is out of town it seems.
We visited a less-active the other night who barely let us in but I kept talking to him and finally got in. And he mentioned the story of the 3 blind men and the elephant. I recognized it, but didn't remember where. Any ideas?
We did family history with a recently-baptized couple the other night which was really fun! The new familysearch website is so neat! It seems very simple to use which is good because family history gets confusing to me really fast. In fact, I'm trying to do it right now. Not as easy as I thought haha but at least fun to look at. I need the actual documents though to plug it all in. Right now I just have me, Mom and Dad, and Grandpa Longmire. Somehow I need to link up with Taylor's account of something. Crazy stuff! Oh and I can see that both Taylor and Trenton have done things too. How do I sync up with them?! Oh my goodness. I'll ask Taylor in a few months. Oh wow somehow I just connected to all of Grandpa's family! Oh wow there are so many of them! Wow we have someone in our family named Drago? Legit. Ahhhhh we go back to like the 1500s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And people have already done a lot of the work... so looks like we need to do some finding! Wow this is so exciting. Oh man. Now I can see that Dad has some names reserved and that someone we don't know has done some work on his side. OH MY GOSH THIS IS SO COOL EXCEPT I DON'T UNDERSTAND MOST OF IT PARTICULARLY WITHOUT THE INFORMATION RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME. I'm just going by memory. There are so many cool names in our family history though wow. WOW. And yes, I'm in a library so I can actually scream out for joy so I'm just doing it with captial letters LIKE THIS!
Oh and it rained yesterday! It's supposed to rain again this week! Sister Franz was so excited she drove with the window down.
We have interviews with President Taylor this week and car inspections. I need to get a perfect car again, but this one's really old so we'll see. This is my last car inspection! I've always gotten first place. So pray that I make it again haha. Some things are very important, I promise.
Bleh we have a zone activity today. I will try to be happy but I really want to take a nap.
I can go to the Mesa Temple once every 3 months so just go with my companion and do an endowment session. I can go to as many sealings of recent converts as I want and baptisms with recent converts as much as I can get permission for. It's a really neat blessing because in Prescott we used to not be able to go at all, but now they can come for baptisms and sealings. And then the whole mission goes at Christmas too. I love the temple!
Yes, I still have my bike with me. Sisters don't really use bikes anymore... so I will probably talk to someone in the office and see if I can sell it to an incoming sister. As much as I love it, it's super expensive to ship. Maybe if we're driving up to Utah I can just take the bike I have at home? Yes?
Send your conversion story please!!!!!!!!!!!!
This week was filled with the usual: we met members, tried to find new investigators (we actually found a couple in our morning exercise), coordinated with ward leaders, went to hours upon hours of church, had a meeting or two, and drove around trying to find the lost sheep. There are tons of them. I'm hoping to write a lot of recent converts today. I miss the people from my old areas - more like I just want to know how they're doing. It's incredible to think about how many people I've met over the past 17 months.
Anyway love y'all lots. I'm going to email some other people and do family history haha. SO NEAT!
Thanks a ton for the emails - you have no idea how much I love to hear about your lives - even if it seems mundane and boring to you. Really though.
Sister Parks

Oh the oldies! - July 8, 2013

I neglected to mention that Sun City West is a retirement city. You have to be over 55 years old to live there. So church is just old folks. It's like having 50 grandparents. I'm in heaven. Except I might talk extra loud when I get home now haha. Oh they're so sweet!
Surprise is great! It's northwest of Phoenix (?) so even farther out than I was in Peoria. I've done this huge spiral in the mission area. 5 areas?! Gah. No wonder I can't remember people's names anymore. Sister Franz has been out about 6 weeks. She really should be a solo missionary haha - I have no idea what to do to help "train" her, so thus far I've just been trying to stay out of her way and give her some of my experiences when she asks for them. Very very different from Sister Barnett who asked for my direction and advice all the time. I've discovered that on the mission I have a problem about getting in the way of other people. And then in my efforts to stay out of their way, I just get in the way more. That is super frustrating when people do that to me, so of course it's one of my faults too. God works in not-so-mysterious ways. Anyway I guess point being, I'm just trying to be an equal contributor as soon as possible. We talked about goals we have as a companionship.
We were able to go to the temple on Saturday and watch a recent convert couple do baptisms for the dead. A very neat experience. In the Mesa Temple, the font is in this room all by itself, so there were only like 6 of us in there and with no one watching us like at the other temples I've been to. I thought that was neat. It was very beautiful and a neat experience and so lovely to be in the temple again. I think we're trying to go this Saturday too for baptisms too. What a great time to end up in Surprise haha!
I'm back in a Corolla again. Those have the best turning radius of all time - I'm telling you.
I injured my pinky last Tuesday so that's why it's wrapped in the picture. It's all good though - I'm using it like normal (almost now) and even played basketball and the piano on Friday!
The little old lady we live with gave me a nightgown. I am so happy!!!
1. How Sister Barnett prays when she's tired.
2. The collage I made for my last apartment.
3. Sister Falke and me at the Mesa Temple
4. The next two are of Sister Falke and me with Chris and Shea after their sealing. It was so hot - please don't mind the squinting.
5. The member who was wonderful and drove me to the temple took a picture of me with the whole temple since we both assumed it would be my last time there. Hannah - should I bring that blue blazer home or leave it here? I can't decide when I'll ever wear blazers again.
6. Last picture with my Spanish district :( The Hermanas just got assigned as Sister Training Leaders, so we'll be going on exchanges with them in a few weeks. My finger was injured that day, so that's why it's in the wrap. Elder Arave (the one with the blonde hair) had to be a district leader for 4 sisters (there are only 3 districts in our mission like that) but he was so good at it that they transferred him to one of the other districts hahahaha so he's still a district leader over sisters.
7. And it's hard to see but there's an Austin Ave in my area. Cute :)

We drive around a lot here. The members are pretty spread out in Sun City West. The family ward we cover is pretty normal. Tons of kids - it was pretty loud during sacrament meeting.
Thanks for the package! Mom, my cookies turned out wonderful! A little cracked but totally soft and wonderful! They were so good! I didn't even find the sparklers yet... our room is very tiny so I still haven't finished unpacking - I don't know where to put everything.
Um I don't think I need anything else... if I think of anything I'll let you know. I don't think I'll have to ship anything home which will be nice too.
With tracting - it was never required since I've been a missionary - it was just a very commonly-used source of finding. Now it's more of a very-much-on-the-back burner method of finding. We're told not to plan tracting, but if we're directed by the Spirit as to knock on a door while we there, we should. I guess that's the biggest thing - we just don't plan tracting anymore.
We have meetings once a month at least. We have zone meetings every month, district meetings every week, and this month we're having interviews with President Taylor. Then of course there was transfer meeting and the new trainer meeting. I think next month we'll have a trainer/trainee meeting followup, Sisters Training meeting, and transfers. Missionaries go to a lot more meetings than I realized. We got some Jeep Cherokees in the mission, but it looks like the Flagstaff missionaries took them :( Those would have been fun to drive!
I've only filled one journal. Having the voice recorder now has changed things too, but I still try and write in my journal too when I remember.
My 4th was hot haha. We had a normal day with a couple BBQs to spice it up, then we had to be home by 6 and watched the firework show at the nearby baseball stadium just on our sidewalk at home.
Well I feel like this email is more than long enough. Boy boy boy. Now I can see why y'all don't respond to most of what I write - there's too much to respond to hahahaha!
LOVE Y'ALL LOTS. Stay cool (haha) and remember how awesome the gospel is every second!
Love, Sister Parks

TRANSFERRED?! - July 2, 2013

Well. Yes. My last transfer and I'm getting transferred hahahahahaha. Oh wow!
I just got an email from Lyndsey Morgan down in Argentina though - she said she's getting transferred too with only 8 weeks left. Crazy times.
President Taylor called us on Sunday actually and gave both of us new assignements: I'll be finishing the training of another missionary (so my new companion as of tomorrow will be someone who's been out 6 weeks already but has another 6 weeks of training to go). Sister Barnett will be staying in our area and will be in a trio with a trainer and her brand new trainee. So basically Sister Barnett will be the Sister Bruckman of my first companionship. Crazy times.
Well well well
The fireplace looks interesting. That will be very weird.
No, the fires are not close to me. They're up in my first area of Prescott. The elders out there were able to be evacuated before it got super intense. But I do know one of the firefighters that died. Very sad. Everyone was talking about it yesterday.
We had a new trainer meeting yesterday that Sister Barnett and I were able to attend. The whole meeting is basically about the principles behind training a new missionary and the importance of being a trainer. Very intense. But at the end, President Taylor had us all go around and say who our trainer was and, in one word, what we learned from them. He saved the sisters for last by starting in the back, and everyone was crying by the end. Super intense. Especially since I was realizing how many of those missionaries I knew that were home now and how many more are going home. Oh wow it hit me so hard how little time I have left.
But also at the meeting we met the 2 sisters we just got from Flagstaff. They seem great!
Don't worry Mom - our air conditioning works great. I think it was only up to 119 where I am, so no worries. Also, did you know that wind isn't cool sometimes? The wind here is very hot. It's so disturbing haha. We got a warning notice on our cell phone a couple nights ago about a dust storm. Thankfully we were already in for the night (we got it at like 9:00 pm). And then it must have rolled through that night because the next morning we come outside and Brother Alger (the little sweet old man we live with) was using his leaf blower to get all the dust off our car! So sweet! Clouds are the coolest thing ever - I love when we get to see them :) Prescott and Flagstaff have both had record high temperatures. I think Arizona's just hot.
Oh wow and then the temple! I love the Studingers. And I love the temple. And I love Sister Falke. I thought it would be more of this, "Oh how are you it's been so long since we've seen you we love you how are you let's talk talk talk" but it was more like, "Oh hey! We love you." Just not a big deal. Which was great! It was like we hadn't even been apart that long. A very sweet experience.
I agree with Trenton - doing service is so fun now. I love it. Except when it's hot. I still struggle with that a little bit.
Also, Mom and Dad, I want your conversion story too. Really. As missionaries, Elder Parks and I talk about you all the time.
Well. I thought Peoria would be my last area so my stuff is strewn all over the place and packing will be a nightmare haha.
P.S. Do you know of a way to shampoo car carpets without taking them in? I really don't like having to pay for all these services when all I want is a shampoo. Someone should really start a car wash where you only get what you want.
But yeah better go. Maybe I'll be able to email you my new address tomorrow. Maybe not.
LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH THOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Sister Parks

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 24, 2013

Yes that was totally Morty in the training broadcast! So exciting!!!!!!! I elbowed Sister Barnett really hard and said, "I know her!!! That's my old roommate!!!" Every time I saw her it was exciting :)
Oh wow and I just watched another clip with Morty in it and she's actually talking! Wow. Crazy times.

1) We were given dried beans (it's okay - I don't know what to do with them either) so we "let them soak" but might have forgotten about them for a few days. We couldn't figure out why our apartment smelled so funny until I decided to use the beans and saw that they were pretty moldy. Totally ewweth!
2) We have little grapes growing in our backyard! They're adorable.
3) We had a trainer/trainee followup meeting this past Friday. As I'm looking around I realize everyone from our MTC district is there! All 5 of us. Additionally, one of the Spanish elders that came out of us was there too! So we took a picture together. Elder Beck and Elder Absher will be reassigned to the Tempe Mission on July 1st, so we were blessed to be able to get one last picture together. Please ignore the fact that Elder Beck and Elder Knabe forgot how to smile hahahaha just kidding!!!!
4) These are two pomegranate trees in our backyard - it's the hope I have for Trenton's little tree in our backyard :)

Trenton: I definitely loved what President Packer said - "I know the Lord lives, and I know the Lord." Intense. You could feel it.

Similar to Trenton, we haven't received any news of changes really other than something that was hinted at in the opening film but that wasn't actually mentioned. A district in our mission is practice testing that. We're really excited to see what Elder Perry meant by the whole being there to give church tours all the time. Very interested to see what that'll mean. Facebook we've had touches of, but nothing like he was talking about. Again, super interested to see what the changes will actually mean. Haha we'll see how much changes in 7 weeks. Not that I'm trunky. I'm just saying.

Okay Sister Barnett and I cover 2 wards in an 8 ward stake. They both meet at the same building and our area is not very big at all - no more than 3 miles by 3 miles between the two of them but somehow we're still driving like 900 miles a month. I don't get it either. The wards are huge (both easily fill the chapel which is a ton of people to know) though.
Our zone covers 2 stakes, but we're just in the Peoria Stake. I'm legitimately in Peoria but really close to my old area of Glendale too and not too far from my other area of North Phoenix.
Also haha speaking of North Phoenix (where I was for 7 and 1/2 months), apparently it's a little too unsafe now so they're going to take the sisters out of it hahahaha. I laughed so hard because people always told us that we shouldn't be in certain places. Don't worry Mom - I was always smart.

This Saturday I'm seeing Sister Falke and the Studingers!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe it. I'm so excited. Like beyond belief. So very excited. Sister Falke emailed me and said, "Well I wrote you this huge letter and then realized, 'Well, I'm seeing her on Saturday', so how about I just give it to you in person this Saturday?" Perfect haha.

Exchanges were good. Funny story - it ended up being an exchange from 3 pm to 3 pm (exchanges are usually an 8 pm to 8 pm thing). But point being (I guess that's not important) but Sister Follett and I are getting ready to go exercise Thursday morning. I legitimately felt prompted to brush my teeth. Weird. Then we had just finished praying when the lady they live with comes up to our door and gives us apple strudel saying that "they had too much extra for all the missionaries that are over". Uhhh what? We're in our exercise clothes and it's 6:30 in the morning. So yep we go downstairs and there are our zone leaders and our mission president and the stake presidency. Not a big deal. We try to escape but then the stake presidency starts talking to Sister Follett and then President Taylor comes over to say hi. He told us that we looked lovely haha. Well then I try to escape again and he says, "Well wait, let's talk for a little." He then proceeds to tell me what a great job I've done with Sister Barnett and how much she's grown. He explains a little bit of what will happen with next transfer and asks me to think about and pray about what I'd feel comfortable with. So we'll see. But yeah - definitely inspired transfers because I was able to see him and talk to him.

Well the fireplace plans sounds very interesting. I can definitely see Mom's point about all the kids she'll have around. It'll be totally weird to not have a hidden staircase anymore though!!! Very interesting. Also, I don't know where Trenton got the idea that y'all are moving to Utah but I hope you don't because all your kids are moving to Texas (hope Matt knows this, Taylor). We made a deal a long time ago that we'd all move close to each other in Texas one day.

Summer heat is manageable. It's just going to get worse haha so we bought a car visor and drink tons of water and Gatorade. Oh yeah! And yes Taylor I'm pretty sure everyone and their dog has skin cancer :( so I wear sunscreen when I remember. Definitely on my nose because that's where I see the most skin cancer. Scary!
And Taylor you ran a 5k! You're so intense.

Well that's probably all for today. LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH. Next week I'll email on Tuesday as it's transfers. Can't wait to tell you about the sealing and what changes are coming up!!! Life is great.
Love, Sister Parks