Sunday, March 18, 2012

Letter from March 12, 2012

Okay so I didn't take like any in the MTC, but the ones I have are when I got special permission to see Trenton our last night in the MTC and we broke the rule and ran over to the giant map and took pictures really fast. So if we look hurried it's because we were breaking rules and we were saying bye haha. And then let's see there are pictures of all 3 baptisms hopefully. The lady with the walker is Linda - she's super golden and is OUR baptism - not one passed off by the elders Hannah. Haha thanks for the support. The young girl where none of us are looking at the camera is Alle. She's 13 and amazing. She's a great influence and example to her parents. And the boy with the elders is Kyle. He's 12 and was passed off to us from the elders kind of like Alle except Alle has been passed off twice from moving and ward changes. Kyle's pretty cool. His whole family are all recent converts within like the last two years or something. 
there's a picture of me with my bike. Do you think I should wrap it up with duck tape to protect it and love it? But it's so beautiful! But I don't want it to be stolen. Anyway. Let me know what you think.
Also, there's a picture of us in blue jumpsuits which were probably the coolest things I've ever worn in my life. We painted a bathroom for someone which was nice. Haha it was really bad but we came back and fixed all of it. 
So let's see. This week we had two baptisms and a zone conference so I was pretty much out of jacket outfits. Thankfully cardigans count as jackets. 
Shealyn Moon sent me one of those awesome candy notes that was literally longer than my bed. I took a picture of it. We are gleefully enjoying the candy.
And one night we were talking about how I don't like eggs and all the cool things you can do with eggs and Sister Falke managed to trick Sister Bruckman into being trapped holding an egg in the door for like 15 minutes. Upon further reflection and trying to apologize for it, Sister Falke said, "Well. The training book says I'm not allowed to prank my trainee. So you were the only other companion I had!" Funny. 
I think that's all the pictures that needed explaining.
So with the singing thing. It was pretty terrible. I have the vocal range of a man. Actually not even. I doubt that I can hit an D or an E. And then we get there to zone conference with all the elders in our zone and President and Sister Taylor and you know I'm not supposed to practice so I was able to fit in like 30 minutes of trying to learn the piano to "He Sent His Son" before Alle's baptism (it takes 2 hours to fill the font and we didn't have a Ward Mission Leader) but yeah so I get there and I'm freaking out a little bit and the piano is weird and electric and I knew I was going to make a bajillion errors. Anyway. So I just decided to go acapella and immediately messed up the words and started again. But it was fine. Embarrassing and hopefully the zone leaders know never to ask me to sing again, but Sister Taylor thought it was fine because she's asked me to sing at the Sister Specialized Training this Wednesday... but she said she'd find someone to play the piano for me so I guess that's good. And Sister Falke felt to bad about volunteering me for church that following Sunday (zone conference was Friday) that she took my place and borrowed a violin and played a couple hymns. So yeah. It's been fun. A real joy.
We are experimenting on a new door approach that helps us really get right to the point of who we are and what we want for people (to bless them and their homes and their families). So we're literally doing that. When we approach doors we say something like, "Hi. We're representatives of Jesus Christ and are in your neighborhood and wondered if we could come in briefly and bless your home." So obviously it changes with each person because every person is different and not everyone wants us to come in or is welcoming at all. So far we've been able to bless 2 houses, and it's a really great blessing. We meet all the family, ask them what their specific needs are, and kneel down with them and offer a prayer. I got to give the first blessing for a couple named Wayne and Beverly (we have a return appointment with them next Sunday) and it was amazing. Because that's exactly why we're here! We want to share happiness and bless people. Which is why I think it's so funny when people say, "No - we already pray and are good Christians" or "I don't think we need you to bless our house" or "Well we've lived here for 12 years and have been fine" because yeah. I don't think prayer ever doesn't help people. It's fascinating.
But one woman was very unreceptive and didn't trust our authority (which is probably part of why thus far the elders are having better success) and it really made me think about what right I had to bless people's homes. At first I was like, well I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I graduated from seminary and have learned about the church my whole life. And then I thought - wait. I have been set apart by the restored priesthood of God to be a representative of Jesus Christ - to say and do exactly what He would say and do if He were here ministering and blessing and teaching the people of Prescott, Arizona. My calling is to do exactly that. My authority is above that of kings of the earth. I may not have the priesthood myself, but my calling is through the priesthood which is the power of God. I have a right to receive revelation for those I am called to teach and find. I am a missionary for the one true church on the earth today. 
It's been my extreme blessing to be here. I'm excited for Trenton to come out into the field and feel this for himself. It's amazing. So hard sometimes! But amazing. It's hard to be completely obedient all the time and trust the Spirit to speak through us rather than relying on those things that we already know. But I know that I've been extremely blessed when it does happen - when I'm completely obedient to my covenants and the mission rules and know why I'm here. There have been moments where the Spirit is so strong that I'm overwhelmed with joy and don't remember the things that I say to people because they're not from me. And then there are other times where I get confused or frustrated and I lose the Spirit. It's been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I feel like I've been out here for months haha. It reminds me a lot of the scripture the whole mission is memorizing this month: 2 Nephi 1: 27
I know how extremely blessed I am to be out here. To be speaking English in the United States in a place that is almost a perfect mix of Provo and Austin geographically. To have 2 companions and a truck and beautiful weather right now. I am here now for a purpose.
Sorry that so much of my letters seem to be bearing my testimony, but right now my life is my testimony haha! But really. 
I love all of you so much. At zone conference I got a whole bunch of letters and a package from Shea from the last four weeks. It's nice to not be forgotten (um the Andersons are amazing!) and to know how much support I have. I know not all missionaries have the same support system I have.
Okay I'm going to do some personal letters now (including one to my mission president haha) so yeah. I love you. Talk to you next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Sister Parks

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