Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WWWWHHHHAAAAA??????!!!!!! - July 30, 2012

Oh my gosh your emails this week were absolutely adorable. I loved
them. Thanks beloved family! Trenton's are always so funny because he
always says he'll be better next week and then totally says the same
thing next week. Your emails are great Elder Parks! Keep it up! And
keep sending pictures haha they're so funny!
So I'm in Glendale! Down in the valley! It's like above 100 all the
time. Prescott seriously shouldn't be part of the Arizona Phoenix
Mission because it is nothing like the valley. Holy cow. It is a
completely different world down here. A good world still! And a lot
more work to do with less support haha. Wow.
So I'm in the public library right now (HOME!!!!!!!) and can see
exactly how much time I have for emails. Well sort of. I guess we take
off time for emailing President for which we have to go to the family
history center but where we can't do real emails... bahh I have no
idea what's going on haha.
So I'm over one ward. They had like over a dozen baptisms last year of
which none are currently active in the church. Crazy eh? So the ward
has lost some confidence in the capacities of missionaries. We're
eager to be able to meet with our ward mission leader and bishop to
fix this misconception. We had a good conversation with our relief
society president and helped to convey that we're here to help the
ward in their goals, but now she needs to see that we're actually good
teachers and missionaries haha. She came to a lesson with a returning
less-active with us and was telling us what to do the whole time and
totally taking over. Bleh. Granted, less-actives aren't really our
main focus in our callings as missionaries (although they will be in
this ward - holy cow), but we still have some knowledge has to how to
help them too. Anyway. That was interesting. Hopefully the ward will
be able to trust us soon.
My companion is Sister Robinson. She's pretty great. Very different
from my other 3 companions. I'm grateful for all the things I've
learned in Prescott about how to be a better person and companion. I
still have a lot of work to do!
Anyway so this ward is like 3 times as big as my other wards
numerically. So essentially I'm still working with the same amount of
people as I was in Prescott. Except that like the entire ward is
less-active!!!!!!!!!! A lot of them are "do not contact"s or want
their records removed from the church. It's pretty sad. Our relief
society president told us that's the best way we could help the ward
is by finding those people that are ready to come back to church
because at the current moment the auxillaries have way too much on
their hands and not enough people to handle it. So I think that will
be the bulk of our work here in Glendale. I feel like a new missionary
learning everything for the first time again! Wow. My first 3 days
were really overwhelming what with unexpectedly leaving Prescott, the
back-breaking heat, and a completely different world of people. Friday
I was like sleep-walking everywhere until Sister Robinson made me buy
a gatorade at a gas station. Wow. It's amazing to actually need to
drink that stuff! So I'm coming up with ways to combat the heat. I've
stopped wearing makeup haha and just put my hair up every day (Mom
stop pulling your hair out and mourning). We put random things in our
water like salt, lemon juice, chia seeds, and cucumbers to give us
energy. I don't mind sweating all the time (other than the fact that I
look SO GROSS), but it's the energy loss that is hard to deal with. I
laid down on my bed for 5 seconds during lunch on Friday and was like
dead for half an hour. It just really takes it out of you. But I'm
okay! Just hot hahahahaha. Now I see why everyone was so sympathetic
when I told them I was going to Phoenix on my mission hahaha. But it's
great. So much character building!!!!!!!!
I'm a lot closer to the mission office, so I think everyone could just
send my mail there. Definitely for the next two weeks because
transfers are next week (so next week I'll email on Tuesday). Also I
think you have to do something weird here like putting my name on the
mailbox or something... Yeah just send mail to the mission office.
The work is completely different here mostly because the people and
therefore the wards are so different. Sister Robinson (who's only been
here 5 weeks herself) and I are jumping right in and trying not to
flounder in treading our deep waters here. It's exciting! I'm learning
really fast. I think what we're working on the most will be just
helping the ward in reactivating its members so that there are people
to help with everything that needs to be done here. We're probably
going to forsake a lot of investigator work because the ward has a
really sour taste in their mouths from what has happened in the past.
Haha and the people here are so funny and scary. They really don't
mind if you stand there on their porch or in their home even with
nothing to say. They don't help you out. It's a good thing I'm the
most interesting woman in the world and only have awkward moments when
I feel like it. Otherwise there would be A LOT of awkward moments all
the time. People here are just so different haha.
This transfer is more funny to me than anything. I can't believe how
different Glendale is from Prescott. And sorry that I've said that or
something to that effect like a billion times in this email. I'm
seriously learning so much - it's ridiculous!!!!!! But awesome. Like
ridiculous in a good way you know?
Keep me in your prayers! I need it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But seriously, I'm
okay. Geez don't call the Mission President or anything. I'm grateful
for the chance to go where He wants me to go, even unexpectedly haha.
I'm going to handle the heat and so help me I'm going to save this
ward!!!!!!!!! Okay well together Sister Robinson and I will. Oh and
we're in a car! It's a little Chevy Mailbu. So cute! And being in a
duo isn't as weird or boring as I thought it would be. Although a trio
is still super fun! Anyway. Life is good. I love being a missionary!
Oh Elder Knobbe (district leader from Idaho from MTC) is currently in
my zone (not really, he'll probably be transferred soon... it's
complicated) and also Elder Anderson (blonde hair - first zone leader
in Prescott). Elder Anderson goes home in September and holy cow I
want one of my friends to marry him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His name
is Trenton Anderson and he's from LA. Ladies of BYU - find him! But
seriously. He's great. And it was nice to be able to talk to him about
the differences of Glendale and Prescott so as to confirm my sanity.
And there's a chiropractor that we see every week. Nice. I just got
adjusted. Sweet!
And seriously I'm okay. My emails always seem so negative by the time
I'm done! Oh dear.
Love, Sister Parks
P.S. Funny story about my ET: Remember Chris who got baptized in
April? Well he married Shea (who was also baptized with him) and they
just adore us. We have no idea why. So they were one of the few people
I told that I was leaving and they rearranged their plans for the
evening so they could come see me for like 10 minutes. Chris was
really sad that he couldn't hug me, so we talked for a bit altogether
and Shea hugged me multiple times for him. Well (this is in the church
parking lot btw) one of our bishopric members came out from a meeting
and was like, "Sister Parks - we heard you're leaving!" and reached
out a gave me a huge hug hahahahaha. Chris was SOOOO MADDD. But Shea
was like, "Don't punish her for trying to be obedient!" so he just
gave my shoulder a pat and shook my hand a couple times. I'll have to
come back and see them one day because they're great! Oh my gosh so
funny though when the Bishopric member hugged me. Chris's face was

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