Sunday, August 11, 2013

Oh the oldies! - July 8, 2013

I neglected to mention that Sun City West is a retirement city. You have to be over 55 years old to live there. So church is just old folks. It's like having 50 grandparents. I'm in heaven. Except I might talk extra loud when I get home now haha. Oh they're so sweet!
Surprise is great! It's northwest of Phoenix (?) so even farther out than I was in Peoria. I've done this huge spiral in the mission area. 5 areas?! Gah. No wonder I can't remember people's names anymore. Sister Franz has been out about 6 weeks. She really should be a solo missionary haha - I have no idea what to do to help "train" her, so thus far I've just been trying to stay out of her way and give her some of my experiences when she asks for them. Very very different from Sister Barnett who asked for my direction and advice all the time. I've discovered that on the mission I have a problem about getting in the way of other people. And then in my efforts to stay out of their way, I just get in the way more. That is super frustrating when people do that to me, so of course it's one of my faults too. God works in not-so-mysterious ways. Anyway I guess point being, I'm just trying to be an equal contributor as soon as possible. We talked about goals we have as a companionship.
We were able to go to the temple on Saturday and watch a recent convert couple do baptisms for the dead. A very neat experience. In the Mesa Temple, the font is in this room all by itself, so there were only like 6 of us in there and with no one watching us like at the other temples I've been to. I thought that was neat. It was very beautiful and a neat experience and so lovely to be in the temple again. I think we're trying to go this Saturday too for baptisms too. What a great time to end up in Surprise haha!
I'm back in a Corolla again. Those have the best turning radius of all time - I'm telling you.
I injured my pinky last Tuesday so that's why it's wrapped in the picture. It's all good though - I'm using it like normal (almost now) and even played basketball and the piano on Friday!
The little old lady we live with gave me a nightgown. I am so happy!!!
1. How Sister Barnett prays when she's tired.
2. The collage I made for my last apartment.
3. Sister Falke and me at the Mesa Temple
4. The next two are of Sister Falke and me with Chris and Shea after their sealing. It was so hot - please don't mind the squinting.
5. The member who was wonderful and drove me to the temple took a picture of me with the whole temple since we both assumed it would be my last time there. Hannah - should I bring that blue blazer home or leave it here? I can't decide when I'll ever wear blazers again.
6. Last picture with my Spanish district :( The Hermanas just got assigned as Sister Training Leaders, so we'll be going on exchanges with them in a few weeks. My finger was injured that day, so that's why it's in the wrap. Elder Arave (the one with the blonde hair) had to be a district leader for 4 sisters (there are only 3 districts in our mission like that) but he was so good at it that they transferred him to one of the other districts hahahaha so he's still a district leader over sisters.
7. And it's hard to see but there's an Austin Ave in my area. Cute :)

We drive around a lot here. The members are pretty spread out in Sun City West. The family ward we cover is pretty normal. Tons of kids - it was pretty loud during sacrament meeting.
Thanks for the package! Mom, my cookies turned out wonderful! A little cracked but totally soft and wonderful! They were so good! I didn't even find the sparklers yet... our room is very tiny so I still haven't finished unpacking - I don't know where to put everything.
Um I don't think I need anything else... if I think of anything I'll let you know. I don't think I'll have to ship anything home which will be nice too.
With tracting - it was never required since I've been a missionary - it was just a very commonly-used source of finding. Now it's more of a very-much-on-the-back burner method of finding. We're told not to plan tracting, but if we're directed by the Spirit as to knock on a door while we there, we should. I guess that's the biggest thing - we just don't plan tracting anymore.
We have meetings once a month at least. We have zone meetings every month, district meetings every week, and this month we're having interviews with President Taylor. Then of course there was transfer meeting and the new trainer meeting. I think next month we'll have a trainer/trainee meeting followup, Sisters Training meeting, and transfers. Missionaries go to a lot more meetings than I realized. We got some Jeep Cherokees in the mission, but it looks like the Flagstaff missionaries took them :( Those would have been fun to drive!
I've only filled one journal. Having the voice recorder now has changed things too, but I still try and write in my journal too when I remember.
My 4th was hot haha. We had a normal day with a couple BBQs to spice it up, then we had to be home by 6 and watched the firework show at the nearby baseball stadium just on our sidewalk at home.
Well I feel like this email is more than long enough. Boy boy boy. Now I can see why y'all don't respond to most of what I write - there's too much to respond to hahahaha!
LOVE Y'ALL LOTS. Stay cool (haha) and remember how awesome the gospel is every second!
Love, Sister Parks

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