Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Esther Easter! - April 9, 2012

(Hannah here, just to explain the title for her email. My dad's mom's name is Esther and he'll always call her on Easter and switch her name and Easter and say, "Happy Esther, Easter!" just to make her upset but mainly just to be funny.)

I told my companions that story but they didn't think it was as funny as we did at 1:30 in the morning in a 5-star hotel in Salt Lake City. Remember that? Ha so funny.
So. Hi. Thank you for the emails this week haha. It's good to know that you're not dead.
I've been keeping brief notes throughout the week on what I want to tell you (like I think of something and am like - oh I want to tell Mom/Hannah/Taylor/Tracie/etc that!). I promise I'm focusing on my mission.
Haha also everyone thinks I type really fast (we all email here in the family history center library with other missionaries and people who are here doing family history) and it's so funny because I think of Taylor every time and how she would have just blown them away. People think I'm a good singer too. And that I have small hands. I don't know where any of this is coming from. Now I feel pressure to type fast, sing well, and shake hands well. Okay maybe not the last one.
Ah so we're teaching this one guy named Chris. He's really awesome and in his 40s. He's just getting divorced but is dating someone else (sort of) and has been working with LDS doctors for like 8 years. Anyway well he gives me a hard time because I can take (or maybe just respond more) and I think he felt bad about it because he gave me a side hug on Sunday (I WAS TOTALLY UNPREPARED FOR THIS AND RESPONDED APPROPRIATELY I PROMISE). Anyway it was super weird and I had to tell him not to do that because I could get in trouble. And it just made me laugh afterward because sometimes I'll think of experiences from before my mission, and if I was alone with a man I automatically think, "Whoa! What? Ah!" and then I realize I wasn't a missionary at the time so it was totally okay. It's just funny how quickly the rules become your life. Obedience brings blessings!
So animals: I think they're super fascinating here. And I'm in Arizona, not Africa. We almost ran into some mule deer (I think) on our run last week. It was cool because they just ran our in front of us and then we both turned and stopped and looked at each other for like 30 seconds. White-tailed deer are a lot prettier... And then they have this GIANT black ravens here [shudder]. Oh they're so scary and freaky. And huge. They're bigger than my torso. And we saw a jackrabbit the other day that was SO BIG. Like as big as our car window. If that makes sense.
Oh and hey Ashleigh's family has the same Easter rabbit swing thing that we have! You know the one where Mom is the one standing on the side crying and Dad's in the middle and I'm in yellow laughing and we're all bunnies on swings? Yeah? Okay anyway I had a minor freakout when I saw it because I was so excited.
So finally after 2 years with my CTR ring (not even actually - more like 18 months), it's starting to scratch off everywhere! I have 3 CTRs that are totally blank. I wonder if it'll be completely white by the time I get home in like 40 bajillion months.
So here in Prescott they have gravel yards mostly. Because there's not a lot of grass. I think this might be the one downer to living here one day, but it's actually kind of cool all the designs we've seen in front yards. Very interesting designs. And I guess the backyards have grass in them sometimes. I don't know. I just like grass. I heard there's like no grass in the valley haha.
Also I just learned that the date for Easter is the Sunday closest to the first full moon in April. Is that right? The moon is SUPER bright here because there aren't many street lights haha. Random, eh?
I've found the place I'm retiring to. It's the greatest place ever. It's called Granite Oak Resorts I think. Someone look up how expensive it is and tell me. They had free popcorn and Wii and libraries. Yum. We didn't take any popcorn though which was super sad.
Hey Mom. I was thinking instead of sending me any more packages for the next year (because I love them SO MUCH but this favor I'm about to ask you is huge) you should finish that pretty blue dress I started making like 2 years ago for me! My ward mission leader's wife is a seamstress and can take all my measurements for me! I just want more clothes but mostly that dress. I can't believe how long I went in my life without fully dedicating myself to anything. So ashamed. I think the mission will be the first think in my life I've actually committed to and completed. But it won't be the last!!!!!!!
Well I think that's it haha.
District meeting was amazing. We have it every week, usually on Friday. Our new zone leader, Elder Brame, and Elder Nelson weren't there but it was still cool. We talked about the week before how we can better fulfill our potential as our missionaries. And then this week we talked about how we need to know what the Lord's vision for our area is. Anyway it's tough to explain haha right now but it was super awesome. Elder Keele (DL) based it off of the talk that Elder Haleck gave Sunday afternoon in General Conference. Just read it. It was my favorite talk. Yay!
Chris is getting baptized this week! He's super solid.
We went to a lake last Pday. It was nice. I loved the sign (obviously) and took a picture of it. The first one is part of how we pranked the zone leaders' truck. They finally figured it out when we saw them on Sunday (they asked and we're not supposed to lie :) ). And the last picture I look psycho in but it's of this kid in our ward who dressed up to perform at the Relief Society party this past week (best food I've had in a long time - wow).
We had five dinner appointments this past week which was awesome! We had lunch appointments too. Anyway but now we have to figure out what to do during the 8-9 pm hour which is super awkward. Any suggestions?
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH IT'S RIDICULOUS. Trenton should be writing his email right now. It's cool being in America with him hahahahaha.
TALK TO YOU NEXT WEEK BECAUSE I'M SO FULL OF LOVE FOR YOU. Your emails make me laugh so hard and tear up because you're all so adorable.
Love, Sister Parks

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