Tuesday, March 26, 2013

WHAT A TRIP - March 25, 2013

Seriously this week has been insane.
But to answer all your questions and comments first:
Yes, Dad, we're allowed more time to email now. I'm not sure how that works for missionaries that use public libraries, but oh well. We're very blessed to have use of the family history center here.
So the Easter Pageant: We went up Tuesday at like 3:00 with the Deer Valley sisters (Follett and Turner). As sister missionaries, we got to park in handicapped parking (oh yeah!!! and yes, Dad, I drove all the way there). We looked around the Visitor's Center there at the Mesa Temple for a while and then had some training from the Mesa sisters. They have like a secret room where they have food and lockers and stuff! It's crazy!!! Being a temple sister would be so fun, but that's okay. It was fun to pretend for a night. Tuesday was just the dress rehearsals, so there weren't a ton of people there and we got to watch it in both English and Spanish. We were basically told to smile, smile, smile, and invite people to check out the Visitor's Center while they waited for the show to start. There weren't a whole lot of people in our sector, so we didn't do a whole lot. We didn't get home until like 10:40 though. Wow. The pageant was good! It was neat to actually see some of the pictures I've seen of it before in real life. They go through like the whole story of Christ. Very nice. I thought of Lizzie Fotheringham Williams during like all the dance numbers. We're going this Friday with our ward and some investigators and then will go again this Saturday to help out (on its last night!!! should be crazy!!!). Very exciting.
Taylor that sounds so exciting about your new apartment. I breathed a huge sigh of relief to know that you're staying in that area hahaha.
Mom the pictures of the saris are so cool! Beautiful!
And um also on Tuesday I received an anonymous (?) package from the ward with A LOT of gift cards... Please thank the ward. I'm not quite sure how. It was just ridiculously amazing. My companion and I were on Cloud 9.
Also Dad - I've decided that you and Sister Vallejo would get along really well. Actually she'd just get along with our family really well.
Bleh there's just so much to talk about - so much happened this week.

Monday: Went shopping at Kohl's. Awesome. Got 2 shirts and a jacket (thank you Aunt Kathleen!!!)

Tuesday: Had an appointment with a lovely woman named Sarah in the morning. She's very sweet. Suffers with short-term memory loss, though, so it's always interesting to see what she actually remembers from week to week. She has a really strong desire to know the truth and is very spiritual. Then at 3:00 we met up with the other sisters and headed down to the temple. Our district leader, Elder Brothers, let us borrow his GPS which uses the Mr. T voice. So thankfully I never got lost because he totally would yell at you! Anyway but yeah GPSs nowadays are kind of freaky - like it always knew what the speed limit was and if I was in a camera-monitored zone and my speed and showed me pictures of what the upcoming intersection was going to look like. Creepy! But helpful. It was my first time going to the Visitor's Center, and we watched a great video about eternal families. Very beautiful. The pageant was fun.

Wednesday: Sister Vallejo, with our ward mission leader, get along way too well, so our coordination meetings with our ward missionaries are sometimes less than reverent. But that was fun. Wednesday was weird. We taught Grant who decided to move his baptism date back to the 14th of April so that his family can be there. Excellent!

Thursday: We left for Sisters Specialized Training! We met up with everyone and carpooled down to the Mesa Temple to do a session. So beautiful. There is such a peaceful feeling there. Definitely got a lot of inspiration as to how I can improve. Then we walked over to a park and had lunch there and had some training about not gossiping, relationships with elders, what we want to be remembered for, and more. We got home a little after 5, had coordination with our other ward, and then went on splits to teach the Tso family and Charles. Charles we've been teaching for a while. He was pretty agitated when I walked in, but I didn't ask why. We had planned to talk to him basically about what he wants from us. So I just tried to go by the Spirit, and we had a really great lesson. When Sister Vallejo rejoined us for the end of the lesson, Charles shared that at the beginning of the lesson he was planning on telling us to stop coming by, but he felt the Spirit really strong as I was able to just focus on him and he really wants to be baptized. He just has to stop smoking. That was very fulfilling. I definitely feel like I'm here to help Charles. And then Sister Vallejo was able to commit the Tso kids to baptism! We are teaching such golden people. It's ridiculous.

Friday: District meeting! Bomb! Since we have 4 Spanish elders in our district now, they always do practice teaching together so they can do it in Spanish which means that we the sisters are always stuck with the zone leaders. Pressure! Well today we were teaching something I've never taught before: teaching someone how to pray and why we use formal language in prayer. I seriously had never thought about teaching that. So we dove right in, and the Spirit was very sweetly there and helped us to realize why we use proper pronouns when we pray. Oh but awkward moment - the Spanish elders came back into the room so we could discuss how it went but we were still in the middle of teaching so I just kept talking and finished my sentence in like absolute silence as 5 elders stood behind me just watching. Scary. Anyway. Our elder are out of money so we just went to Taco Bell again afterward. Elder Brothers said he didn't want me spending my newfound gift cards on the district. Nice. We tried contacting a lot of people after that. Had a lesson with Bijonn that night - he is very prepared and has had so many special experiences.

Saturday: WOW! So our stake conference was this week and we had a member of the Quorum of the 70 there. He flew in from Ghana at like midnight Friday night and had a meeting with us at 9:00 the next morning. Crazy. His name is Robert C. Gay - he gave the talk last General Conference about what would you sell your soul for? Very good, although I was a little intimidated by it at first. Anyway. It was a special meeting for just us, the full-time missionaries, our ward mission leaders, our bishop, and of course our stake presidency and President Taylor. Sister Vallejo and I were the only two women in that whole room. Crazy! He gave us a lot of great insight - I took a lot of notes. Definitely gave us a lot of ideas on how to work better with our ward.

Sunday: Stake conference. Amazing. President and Sister Taylor spoke along with our stake presidency and Elder Gay. President Taylor had us all stand up and introduced us. He got so chocked up and everyone was so impressed that he knew all of our names, but we just though, "Duh. He better know our names. He's our family right now." Anyway. Very good. We talked about how there might be 14 full-time missionaries in the stake but that how technically we have like 4500 missionaries in the stake because everyone is a missionary. Elder Brothers interviewed Bijonn for his baptism - he's set to go! He's getting baptized this Saturday and then we'll head down after that to help with the Easter Pageant again.

Okay this is the longest email of all time. I love y'all so much. This week should be totally amazing.
Talk to you later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Sister Parks

P.S. I met a sister in Mesa who is from the Oak Hill Stake and knew Jerica! Crazy!

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