Saturday, July 28, 2012


Well. Monday after I emailed you, I got a call from President saying
that he had a new assignment for me. So I'm down in Glendale right now
at least until the next transfer which is in a couple weeks. Ironic
isn't it? I should stop making plans for myself because they're never
what the Lord has in mind for me as it turns out.
I'm with Sister Robinson who trained Sister Murdock actually. I'm
replacing Sister Bailey who left this morning on medical leave. That
can stay on the DL but I thought I could tell you since you know about
her from my MTC group.
This is my new address: 7604 W. Ocotillo   Glendale, AZ 85303
So yeah that's about it. I'll email more on Monday. Love y'all lots.
- Sister Parks

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just another great week in Prescott! - July 23, 2012

I can't believe it's already week 5 of the 6-week transfer. Sister Falke goes home in 4 weeks and I am NOT HAPPY. I have no idea what's going to happen when she leaves because it's in the middle of a transfer. I'm a little scared that I'm going to be left here in Prescott with Sister Culler which I honestly don't know if I'll be able to handle. I'm terrified to be in a regular two-missionary companionship. But I'm doing better. I'm slowly developing the ability to be a better missionary and a better companion. Being a senior companion would be an interesting experience for sure, but I don't feel ready to be a leader here in Prescott yet. Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! It's okay. I have 4 weeks to improve myself without thinking too much about it.
Thank you for the emails this week! I'm excited to hear about how Girls Camp went for Hannah. We were super depressed when we couldn't talk our leaders into letting us go to Girls Camp here in Prescott haha. It's the best!
We're being really blessed to be working with some great people here in Prescott right now. The work has just blossomed in our district, so we're all searching out anxiously what we changed and why it's happening so we can continue helping our wards to grow. There's still a whole lot of work to be done.
Our district (so Elders Brame, Bartleson, Dunn, Jones) and then the Spanish elders (Jones and Arias) went and participated in a stake service project at 6 in the morning this past Saturday (yum). We painted a skate park and then helped lay down dirt in this huge playground right next to it. My back hurt so bad but it was so worth it. And I can't believe how many people showed up. It was wonderful. And then the elders came over to our place and helped us move all our furniture downstairs and into our room now that the floors are in place. It was great going home to our real apartment instead of the upstairs living room which was honestly a bit distracting. We're happy to have our own space again.
We're supposedly having a mandatory zone activity today that has something to do with nerf guns...  We'll see...
We were talking about testimonies a couple days ago in our companionship study and I was thinking about those things of my testimony that have been most consistent throughout my life and that have helped me build the rest of my testimony. I know that I had really big moments of enlightenment when I was like 14-15 reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. I really gained a strong conviction of modern prophets, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. But my testimony started way before that, and I finally realized what it was! I think I'd always understood the importance of families and how we can gain blessings from that. But it wasn't until I turned 12 and started attending Young Women that I started to understand that on an eternal scale. I started feeling love and companionship and this eternal importance and investment in my life and my daily actions. I felt that love all around me and was very much aware of how much God loves me as an individual. How He knows my name and my needs and wants to do everything to help me. It was so individual and yet so much bigger than that. And that conviction I've had that God loves me has really driven me in everything else that I've sought after and done in my life. It was something really exciting to understand for myself and actually pinpoint and meditate over. Bah I love TRUTH! It's beautiful really. I'm grateful for the consistency of my family in helping me to grow in all aspects of life as well - mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has made all the difference.
Love you all so much! I love hearing about how your lives are going. Dad - those thank you cards would be a great idea :) Just if you're still thinking about it.
Take care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Sister Parks
P.S. Can you believe how long I've been out?! It's wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still so much to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the floods came up - July 16, 2012

Hahahahaha family this has been the second weirdest week of my entire mission. Seriously.
Also your emails were seriously so great this week. I absolutely loved them.
So monsoon season started here in Prescott. It was POURING Friday morning during our district meeting. We were super excited. And then we got home and half of our carpet was completely soaked. And the garage had flooded. So we swept out the water in the garage and started moving our furniture to the other side of the room so Bill could rip up the carpet. It was exciting. Bleh. I'm getting really bad at telling stories. Well then the Bill's mom, whose house we live in, said that we just need to replace the carpet, so while we were out tracting Saturday morning, the ward surprised us and moved all of our stuff upstairs to the living room - even our beds! So we're living upstairs for now. Half of our stuff is in the garage and the rest is upstairs in our makeshift room. It's kind of like being on vacation haha.
This week was really great even with all the rain and flooding. Through the efforts of wonderful members, we've found some new people that are eager to learn more about the gospel and make covenants with God. We had a baptism last night for a wonderful young man named Brian who bore a solid and sincere testimony about how he felt that he was in darkness before but how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought him out of it and how he knows anything is possible now. It was very sweet. There were so many people in attendance we had to move the short service to the chapel.
Ha this happens every week where I have so much to say during the week but then once I sit down here at the computer I have nothing to say. Maybe that's why usually during the week I take notes of things that happen and that I want to tell you about. Well looks like I have more time to respond to your individual emails! Yay!
Love all of you bunches and oats.
Oh and yes Mom tranfers are every six weeks - so I'm here in Prescott until the first week of August.
Sister Parks


Oh and I saved the house from catching on fire! Sunday morning I was rushing around trying to find all my stuff (3 locations for items of value is not intelligent), and I walked into the garage and noticed that there was some sizzling and smoke coming off. Apparently there was some electrical stuff out that was in the still left over flood waters. And I saved the house. OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! Brag moment for the day. Love ya!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

PHEW! - July 9, 2012

I just spent a whole lot of time writing President Taylor and then responding to all the individual emails I've neglected over the past few weeks. SO I had a whole lot to say but we'll see how much I get through before we have to leave.
Our 4th of July was pretty good. It was a normal day other than that we had to be in by 6:00 pm. I was going to take a nap but was kind of jazzed so we watched a couple church movies and then planned for the next day. Then we went upstairs on the porch and were able to see some fireworks. Pretty chill. And running into so many people at home for the holiday made me realize just how stupid alcohol is. Like really. And it makes people pretty stupid too. I say that lovingly but kind of disgusted as well. Yeah. But otherwise a totally great day! And it made me very grateful that alcohol is not in my life!
And we had a chipmunk in our apartment a few days ago. It was totally right above my bed in the window. And we spent 20 minutes trying to get it out of our apartment. It ran all over my window, desk, bed, and even on my shoe. And I didn't even get a decent picture! Crazy.
Hey Dad I unclogged my first toilet this week! Twice actually. Bam. I felt like a beast.
Oh and a couple weeks ago I finished the Book of Mormon. I'd started in the MTC and couldn't believe how long it's taken me to read it all. But I did! Ah it's so amazing. I love it. Totally true.
Is my plaque done? Can I see a picture of it?
So we had zone interviews this past week with President Taylor. Oh my gosh it's like that entire 4 hours were just for me and my interview with President Taylor was just amazing. We talked about a lot of things and he addressed so many of my concerns and then offered to give me a blessing!!! Oh my gosh I had never even dreamed that that was possible. So yeah after my interview he gave me a blessing and this huge rush of calm strength just flooded me. There are so many things I need to work on as a missionary, and it was great to be there with President and talk about these things and to get that encouragment. I actually asked him a lot of personal questions too haha which probably was weird, but hearing about his own experiences helped me to understand mine. And he of course was great. Oh wow that helped so much. I was seriously in tears the whole time but it was amazing. And then after my interview I came out and the rest of my zone was watching 17 Miracles! What?! I know. So I watched a real movie... It was weird. But really good. And we talked about the principles of faith and hope and how help will always come. It was just amazing. And we watched this great clip with talks from President Erying and Elder Holland about the Atonement and how salvation is not cheap. It really answered the questions and concerns I'd had lately about how hard missionary work is and the attitude I struggle to have every day. Ah it was just amazing. Elder Holland talked about how to truly be a disciple of Christ requires us to partake of a small token of what He suffered. For us to understand the Atonement, we need to need it. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I loved every minute. I just need to maintain this!
Okay sorry I super have to go. Bleh. One day I really will learn to balance my time on the computer.
Love all of you so much! I pray for my wonderful family all the time. I hope that you're receiving blessings from my mission as I'm receiving the blessings as well. This is such an amazing opportunity. I feel so amazed at the change I've seen in myself and hope that these changes will last!
Thanks for all the support and prayers. Your advice, news, and love is priceless to me and so necessary. Even you Matt! Actually getting your letter made me realize how much I treasure advice from a returned missionary. So... guilt trip?! Yes. Your letter was wonderful.
As are all your letters and emails! Seriously.
Sister Parks!

Cloudy skies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - July 2, 2012

Oh my gosh I am so sleep-deprived. We're going home after grocery shopping and taking naps. Seriously - I have it written in on my planner. I can't believe how long it's been since I've taken a nap. Like 4 weeks.
Also, I'm still in a trio! Surprise! Sister Culler is her name. She's from a ridiculously small town in south-central Colorado. She came out just the transfer after me. So she's only 6 weeks behind me.
I miss Sister Bruckman a lot. She was transferred down to the Surprise area. She'll be on a bike hahahahahahahahaha. Okay fine she has a car, but they don't have very many miles so she'll be using her bike too.
Also, my profile was totally approved!!!!!!!!!!! Here's the link. Please ignore the picture of myself.
Pretty exciting ya?! I know.
Well this week was absolutely fascinating. We had like 6 meal appointments starting Wednesday night. That is a rarity. It makes us so tired haha because we have no time to go home and just chillax and revamp ourselves for like 20 minutes.
Honestly not much to report this week, sorry. Other than the fascinating meal appointments. We have a new missionary in our district named Elder Jones. He seems pretty interesting. Our new zone leader, Elder Bartleson seems nice too.
We're trying to work hard. I am striving to be more consistently optimistic and excited about the work because everything is worthless if one doesn't want to be out here.
And we met 3 Jims yesterday. Crazy.
Sorry Sister Falke and I spent too long talking today. I'm gonna go write another email really fast.
Okay bye. LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Parks

Transfer news! - June 25, 2012

Ahhh I don't know how to send my zone picture to you!!!!!!!! SADDDDDD. In fact, I have like 4 pictures to send you this week but for some reason they don't seem to be working. Just let me know if you don't get them.
Oh and I'm staying in Prescott!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But Sister Bruckman is leaving :(
And our district leader, Elder Keele, flew home this morning.
And one of our zone leaders, Elder Nelson (who's been here like 9 months or something) is being transferred too.
Our district meeting this week will be fascinating to say the least.
I was very nervous about this round of transfers, but it's been amazing to see - when we got the news this morning - how inspired these decisions are. Tomorrow we'll go down to Glendale (Phoenix) for transfer meeting. It'll be my first one to go to since my own transfer meeting when I first got here and was told I was going to Prescott and had no idea what that meant. Sister Falke and I aren't sure if we're still going to be a trio (like if they'll give us another Sister) or if we're just giving Sister Bruckman to someone else. So we'll see.
The first picture if of our last district meeting with Elder Keele. He was a great district leader! We'll miss him. There was a little surprise party for him last Friday night that we were able to attend for like 15 minutes before rushing off to another appointment. His companion, Elder Dunn, sang him a song that was super great. We gave Elder Keele a cd, a bouncy ball, and a flashlight. Aren't we thoughtful :)
Doug's baptism was on Saturday! The zone leaders came because they had an investigator and Elder Nelson was baptizing Doug. Gah my leaders make me so nervous. Especially because they were sitting right behind us. It's been like a month and a half since our last baptism so I was nervous already. Anyway. But our baptism presentation (we give like a mini lesson while they change after the ordinance) went really well I think. Baptisms are always so amazing.
The next picture is about how close I've gotten to holding a wild wabbit! Monday morning we went on our brisk walk for exercise and there were like 5 bunnies that morning! I got really close to one but he came up so close to me that I honestly didn't know if I should just squat down really fast and grab him etc. It was difficult. Well Monday night we went over to a member's home to share a brief lesson, and turns out their uncle had just captured a little baby bunny and they'd only had it for a few days! So I got to hold it!!!! Oh my gosh isn't my face awful?! I need to start wearing sunscreen as my nose is nasty freckled and 3 shades off from the rest of my face. So funny. And ridiculous.
Then the last picture is hopefully the last phase of our pranks with the zone leaders to each other's trucks. As it was our last chance to prank Elder Nelson and to prank him as a trio, we stopped by while he was doing emails and put that bathroom mat we picked up off the street and gave their truck a face. Hopefully he enjoyed it hahahaha. The orange note on the side is from the last time they pranked our truck (by wrapping it in saran wrap) and says, "EAT THAT! HAHAHAHAHA Nelson and Brame". We thought it would be a nice touch. I promise we're super responsible and serious missionaries.
Bleh so we had "Invite Your Friend to Church Day" in one of wards this past Sunday and literally there was only 1 visitor there hahaha. Okay so like 3. So I'm looking around the chapel as sacrament meeting is starting and come to the realization that I know everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I was torn between being disappointed that I knew everyone (I finally know one of my wards!) and that I knew everyone (aka there are no visitors). It was pretty funny. Turns out there's a silver lining to everything.
Also something nice happened on our way to district meeting this past Friday. So I've been pretty anxious about transfers this week and feeling a bit overwhelmed in a lot of ways because no matter what the changes were going to be, it was going to be hard and a change and more opportunities of growth for me. And we all know how well I handle change and growth. Yeah. Well we were driving to district meeting and I was looking out over the streets of Prescott and just had this amazing sense of calm strength. I knew at that moment that there was work to be done in Prescott and that I'd be here and provided the abilities to be able to do the work of bringing people unto Christ.
I've finally finished my profile now that I have a picture of myself. It'll be reviewed and should hopefully be up in a couple weeks. Exciting ya?! I'll give you the link as soon as it's real.
We're teaching some wonderful people right now. One of them is a 16-year-old and he's really got us thinking of ways that we can empower the youth to share the best part of their lives with their friends. We've really been racking our brains as to what would have helped us when we were youth because now that we're on missions we realize how wonderful it would have been to just invite our friends to learn more about the gospel. And as a youth there are so many opportunities!
Well family. I know that this church is Christ's church on the earth again with His authority to perform wonderful ordainances that seal us to our eternal family. I believe in a God that continues to make covenants with His children. I know that He loves me! He loves the people of Prescott, and I'm excited for another 6 weeks to do my best to find those that are ready to change their lives and find the ultimate peace and happiness!
Thanks for your prayers. I really do feel them.
Love you lots! Have fun at EFY Hannah!!!!
Sister Parks (isn't that so cool that I'm a real missionary?!)