Monday, November 30, 2015

Pictures Unwearied Diligence

Thanksgiving day spent with lots of friends at the Kappleman's :)

Our host and chef Mama Kappleman! 

Finally got my snow boots...now that the snow is gone! I'm sure it will be back and at least my toes are warm!!

The strange boil on my forehead. Yikes! 


Postcards Sister Plomgren and I made to pass out to inactive families.

A sweet member gave us another tree to love! I Love Christmas!

Waking up to this was not a fun experience! Ugh!

Brunch out with Maddy and Connor!

Unwearied Diligence

Hello family and friends!
Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!! This week was full of fun
memories and many miracle moments! What a great time of year to be a
missionary. We had our lesson with Luis on Wednesday! Well, first of
all, we actually bumped into him on Monday! We were walking through
the mall because I needed some winter boots so we went shopping and lo
and behold, there was Luis, just sitting there in the mall! We chat
for a few minutes and get on our merry way. Anyways, on Wednesday we
meet him at McDonald's (it's the place to be!) and we have an hour and
a half lesson on just random things from the Book of Mormon to tithing
to the pride cycle to chapels and the list goes on and on. We taught
him the restoration again and gave him a Spanish Book of Mormon so
that he could read it easier. At the end, we read Moroni's promise
(Moroni 10: 3-5) and asked him that if he read the Book of Mormon,
prayed about it, and found that it was true, would he get baptized?
And he was like, "YES!" How cool was that? We are meeting with him on
the 1st and it's going to be awesome!
So Thanksgiving morning I woke up with a huge bump on my forehead....
Literally it looked like a goose egg.. and I thought oh my lanta today
is just NOT my day. It's large and swollen and very red and very
noticeable. Wouldn't be that big of a problem because most of the
people that we talk to we will never see again so no biggie (also it's
a conversation starter, as you will read in the next paragraph),
except we were going to a Thanksgiving party where at least half the
ward will be. S.O.S. So I ice it and cover it up with a lot of makeup.
We get to the party early to help clean and set up and help cook.
Sister Plomgren was laughing at me... I tried just kind of shook it
off... Except for it hurt sooo bad. That night i tried EVERYTHING.
Heat/cold, aspirin, zit cream... Nothing was helping and it seemed to
be getting WORSE. It was awful. So we had a family doctor look at it
and he says it was some type of boil? Or infection? Cellulitis of the
skin?! Whhhhaaaaatt? So sister Kappelman gave me some melelukia?
However ya spell it... And now I am just walking around with a huge
tomato on my forehead. The doctor said to give it a couple of days and
if it doesn't get better to go see a dermatologist for some medicine.
Ahhh. Talk about face problems. So that's been the adventure of my
week.  I've been putting hot packs on it and the swelling has gone
down quite a bit, but there is a little patch on it that is the shape
of Australia. My companion thinks that there is a unicorn horn that is
going to sprout, but I'm not convinced.
Thanksgiving was awesome aside from me turning into a unicorn. Sister
Kappelman made yummy sweet potato rolls... And a WHOLE bowl of
butternut squash just for me!! YUM. I ate butternut squash for 5 meals
in a row. I'm not even joking. It was the best... Pretty much I was in
heaven. It was so fun to spend the evening with the families in the
ward! There were over 80 people there and it was crazy! But so fun. It
reminded me of our brimley family parties.., so I felt right at home.
It's been a busy week!
On Saturday, we were out tracting and no one wanted to hear the
message that we were sharing about the good news of Jesus Christ. We
knock on this one door, and a man comes to the door. We ask him if he
wants to hear our message, and he says, "Sure, how long is it?" We
assure him that it's not long and start with a short summary of the
restoration. In the middle of us talking, he says, "What's that on
your head? Is it some sort of ritual for your church?" We were like,
"Ummmm, no?" He then asks, "So, are you nuns? Or nuns in training?" We
tell him that we were only out for 18 months and that our message was
really important. We ask again if he has any interest in it and he
says, "No, we're Lutheran, if you know what I mean". So we have no
idea what he means but if we find out I'll let you know!
So we had been tracting all day and we were freezing and tired..We
left the neighborhood and go to a nearby McDonald's to email an
investigator. We were in there and we were drawing a spiritual blank.
I gets up and orders a parfait (and I knew that something awesome was
going to happen soon because first, we were in the spiritual valley
approaching the spiritual mountain, and second, miracles always happen
when I eat sugar) and we both say a prayer. We had an hour until we
had to be at our next appointment and we were like, "Well, we have to
use this time somehow" so we decide to go tracting in this one
neighborhood that we had seen a couple weeks ago. We go to this
neighborhood and pull in to park. We both looked at each other and
said, "This is not the place". Sister Plomgren looked at the GPS and
decide on the next street over. We get out of the car and start
knocking out the doors (haha). We were reaching the end of the street
and the end of our hope when we see a woman raking some stuff in her
front yard. Sister Plomgren strikes up a conversation and she said
that she had quite a bit of raking to do. We offer to help and she
accepts! When does that ever happen? So We raked apples in a skirt.
Not Apple leaves, but apples. She had three apple trees and she said
that she had a harvest of about 1,000 apples and a lot of them had
fallen off the trees and gone rotten. We talked to her while doing it
and she is part of a church in South Barrington, but she believes in
modern-day prophets (just like us!) and would love us to serve her
some other time! She called us "her Angels"! And offered to take us to
dinner! Sadly we had another appointment and couldn't go... But we are
going to meet up with her sometime soon! Tracting in low thirty degree
weather brings miracles!

This week I've been studying a lot about being fully converted to the
lord and what it means to be "converted to the Lord." Reflecting back
to my personal conversion and why I decided to serve a mission. I want
to be a fully converted missionary to the Lord. Not only as
missionaries... But also as members.. Conversion requires all of our
heart, all of our might, and all of our mind and strength. This week I
pondered and studied the Parable of the Ten Virgins. As members of the
church we can be compared to the women whom were waiting for the
bridegroom. The lamps with oil are compared to our personal testimony
or personal conversion to the Lord. How important it is that we keep
our oil lamps filled to make sure we are prepared for the Savior, but
also that we help those around us fill their lamps so that they too
may be prepared. This has been a very helpful parable since We have
been working a lot with members in helping them strengthen their own
testimonies so that they will feel confident in sharing the gospel
with those they love because of the happiness and joy it brings, and
also to reach out and rescue those who may be struggling.
More than ever before.... There is such an importance of a personal
testimony. On Sunday sister Plomgren and I were asked an hour before
church to teach Sunday school because the teacher was sick. However it
was a blessing because the lesson was on spiritual self reliance...
And guess what we had been studying together all week? The importance
of a PERSONAL testimony. I know that we go through trials in this life
to test our "testimony" and conversion to the Lord. A mission is
definitely a "test" of faith and is strengthening my conversion to the
Lord, but doesn't come without sacrifice. It requires unwearied
diligence... Just as in the scripture "And they are striving with
unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their
brethren to the knowledge of the truth” (Helaman 15:5–6). For me,
being diligent in my faith is not always easy especially as I face
hardship and trial. But, if there is one thing I have learned on my
mission is to turn it over to the Lord and ask for his help. I testify
that the Lord strengthens us and gives us comfort amidst our personal
challenges and trials. The Lord is requiring everything of me.. And
sometimes is hurts and I just want to quit... But I know that as I
give my will to the Lord, he will take all of my efforts and mold me
into the missionary he needs me to become.
This past week I have struggled a little bit with my area, I have a
desire to find people to teach... And try to discern follow the
promptings of the spirit to find them... However sometimes I feel as
if my prayers go unanswered. I know this is foolish because God
answers every prayer, but sometimes it is difficult for me to always
remember that. I know the lord is teaching me patience right now! I
was studying in D&C 34 about preaching the gospel and prophesying and
received personal revelation. I sometimes feel discouraged and because
of my own inadequacies as a missionary. I have such a strong desire to
teach people about the gospel... Yet I become frustrated with my own
weaknesses. However, the longer I am a missionary, the more I realize
the need for these weaknesses... Because through my weaknesses I
become closer to the savior Jesus Christ as I draw nearer to him and
rely on him in all things. (Ether 12:27) this work is so much greater
than I can comprehend and sometimes I feel as if it all depends on
me... And if I am not bringing someone to the waters of baptism every
day I am failing as a missionary. I really tend to become discouraged
by the numbers at the end of the day... Knowing that I have given my
best and yet it still seems as if I have done nothing. However, I know
this is a terrible mindset and these feelings are coming from Satan to
try and discourage me and prevent me from continuing. The lord expects
me to work hard and do all I can, but also to recognize that he knows
his children and has his own timetable.   I know I am so much happier
as a missionary when I remember the reason I am out here and the joy
that I feel. I am here to help bring others closer to the savior and
help them to find the happiness that comes through the gospel! There
is a wonderful talk I found in the October 1974 ensign by president
Kimball called "When the World Will be Converted". If you haven't read
it yet, it is a good one! There is a quote that really stood out to
me, "If we do all we can, and I accept my own part of that
responsibility, I am sure the Lord will bring more discoveries to our
use. He will bring a change of heart into kings and magistrates and
emperors, or he will divert rivers or open seas or find ways to touch
hearts. He will open the gates and make possible the proselyting. Of
that, I have great faith." I have a testimony of this.I know that with
God nothing is impossible. He is with me every step of the way, all he
requires of me is a faithful and willing heart. I know that I have
witnessed, and will continue to witness miracles as I continue to go
about Gods work.

“To walk with God, no strength is lost.
Walk on.
To talk with God, no breath is lost.
Talk on.
To wait on God, no time is lost.
Wait on.”

Walk on. Talk on. And Wait on.  I know This Lord is directing this
work... Because it is HIS work.

The new Christmas video came out yesterday!! A SAVIOR IS BORN. A
challenge each of you to watch it and share it with a friend!! Have a
wonderful week!! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! Sorry
for such a long email!

Love,
Sister Parke

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pictures Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Chicago. The snow is here!

Most snow in 100 year history for November!

Since we couldn't go out and drive we made the most of the snow day with hot cocoa! Yum!

yep that's 18 inches in one night!


We did a little holiday decorating instead!


All ready for the cold..sort of..I don't know if I can ever put on enough layers to stay warm in this wind!

I do love the snow though!

P-day of service!

I love these sisters!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello!!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Wow I can't believe it is that time of year! I am
loving it here in Chicago and I am so GRATEFUL for the opportunity to
be serving a mission! So many things to be grateful for! I WILL NOT BE
GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!! Hallelujah! Staying in BG for thanksgiving and
Christmas!! Annnnnd most importantly.... MADDYS BAPTISM!!! This is
without a doubt going to be the best transfer yet!! We are beginning
to prepare little things for her baptism because we want it to be so
special! She asked me to speak at her baptism about the Holy Ghost..,
and brother obrien will be talking about baptism! Maddy is progressing
VERY well despite her parents lack on support. Ever since she told her
parents she is getting baptized on the 23rd of December things have
gotten better and she has been less concerned. I know this is because
Heavenly Father is strengthening her and providing peace and comfort
as she prepares to be baptized. We had a wonderful lesson with Maddy
on Monday night at the kappelmans about the commandments. We discussed
each of the commandments and went into further detail on each of them.
Maddy is absolutely amazing and agreed to all of them however she
struggled to understand the 5th commandment... "Honor thy father and
thy mother". Thankfully the missionaries aren't teachers... (; the
spirit is, and we were able to help Maddy understand that her Heavenly
Father loves her and wants her to have a good relationship with her
parents and will bless her for her righteousness. (My farewell talk
was conveniently on this topic! *thanks bishop Hancock!) We drew it
all back to the fact that this gospel is a gospel of love and how God
knows and understands each of us individually and desires our
commitment to follow him. Maddy's faith is so strong and she is such
an example to me for standing up for what she knows to be right! It
has been one of the most rewarding experiences to help her develop
greater faith and a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ahhh this week was a very busy one, we taught seminary... And had to
wake up at 4:30.. I have so much respect for the youth that have early
morning seminary!! Definitely took it for granted as a class period in
high school! We also were asked to teach Relief society last minute!
Which was... Not going to lie..a little stressful.. But sister
Plomgren and I prepared the best we could and allowed the spirit to
teach! It was wonderful!!  Alright. So remember Luis? the guy from
McDonald's a couple weeks ago? Can't remember if I mentioned him or
not. So when Sister Plomgren first met him, he was sitting alone in
McDonald's. She sat next to him, he sees her name tag and says "Tell
me something about Jesus". He tells her that he is from Guatemala and
that he ran into the missionaries 35 years ago down there. He says
that one of the missionaries that he talked to was from California and
she asked, "Who?" because what are the odds she would know him?. He
says, "Elder Gilliland" who is her uncle who served a mission in
Guatemala 35 years ago! She asked him, "Would you be interested in
learning more about our church?" He firmly responds "I was born a
Catholic, I will die a Catholic!" So didn't think much of it. Fast
forward to Friday, when we have an appointment with Ruth, one of our
new investigators, at that same McDonald's. We arrive a little early
and we are sitting in our booth. I get up to go to the bathroom, and I
come back and then I see a man sitting in the corner and have the
prompting to go talk to him. So follow every prompting right? I walked
up to him and asked if I could throw his garbage away. He says, "no,
no, I can do it". I go and sit back with sister Plomgren and this man
follows me and says, "Hello! Do you remember me?" It was Luis! So he
sits in on our lesson with Ruth on the Plan of Salvation. He was
really engaged and asking lots of questions and after Ruth left, Luis
says, "So what is that Book?"pointing to the Book of Mormon on the
table. So we teach the whole Restoration to him. We finish, and he
says "Can I have one of those books? And I want to discuss it with
you! When can we meet?" This is the man who said that he would die a
Catholic! God works in mysterious ways and softens people's hearts! We
are meeting with him again on Wednesday!
So we went to have our follow-up appointment with Jennifer, a woman
that we met while tracting. We knocked on her door and no one was
home. So we tried back with Ynellie, the other person that we had met
while tracting, since they lived in the same neighborhood. No one was
home at Ynellie's either. Cool. So we were walking back to Jennifer's
to try again, and I said to sister Plomgren, "Let's knock on that
door!" So we go and knock and the 90+ man, Bob, invites us inside. We
sit down and come to find out that he is Roman Catholic. And very
strong in his Roman Catholic faith. He's very strong about a lot of
his beliefs like divorce and homosexuality. We said, "We are members
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and he said, "Well
the Mormons are close to Roman Catholic belief, but [this this and
this] are wrong" so we felt the spirit of contention and knew it was
time to leave. We were walking back and see Jennifer pull her car into
it's space and we go to see her. She's totally into the Book of
Mormon, however, she is very busy until after the holidays. When we
were talking to her, we see  Bob walking around. But, if it wasn't for
talking to him, we would have given up and gone to the next
appointment. 
One of the most important aspects of missionary work is building and
establishing trust with the members. This week we were over at a
members house eating dinner and pretty much everyone in the ward knows
that I LOOOVE vegetables, so there was a big bowl of broccoli at the
dinner table. As everyone dished their plates the nine year old boy
started complaining about how he really didn't want to eat it... After
this went on for quite some time I said, "hey Andrew..., I'll eat your
broccoli." He then smiled with a huge grin on his face.. "That's my
kind of sister!" My unique way of bonding and establishing trust with
the members. Eating their vegetables.
Well... As you can see from the pictures.. THE SNOW IS HERE!! On
Saturday we had one of the biggest snowstorms in the history of
Chicago! The sky decided to dump 18 inches inches of snow in one
night! Annnnd if you think I am exaggerating... I promise I'm not! We
had a missionary snow day! We decided we would be diligent so despite
the ICE AGE blizzard we went out and braved the storm and headed to
our first appointment! Scraping off the car was an adventure.. But so
much fun! This was sister plomgrens first experience with snow! So of
course I volunteered to drive... And probably a was a little too cocky
about my skills to drive in the snow. Anyways we pulled out... And
then got stuck in the parking lot.... Luckily we managed to get out
onto the road. By this time I started to feel the prompting not to
drive in these conditions.. I kinda brushed it off because I was being
stubborn and prideful because I wanted to make it to our appointment,
and I had just got done telling sister Plomgren I could drive in the
snow! As I drove on the feeling was stronger and stronger...the car
was sliding and we almost got stuck in the middle of the intersection.
Sister Plomgren and I were so scared, I was a little shook up... It is
almost as a voice so clear said to me. "GO HOME." Sister Plomgren and
I both recognized immediately the prompting and knew was NOT safe.
I've driven in bad driving conditions before... However this was the
worst it has ever been, especially without 4x4 drive. The roads were
TERRIBLE. People swerving off the road and getting stuck, SUVS sliding
all over the road. So we called our zone leaders and safely made it
back to the apartment. I felt guilty about ignoring the first
prompting to stay off the roads, but I learned an important lesson...
ALWAYS LISTEN to the spiritual promptings the FIRST time. I am
grateful that the Lord protected us and we were able to be safe! I
have no idea what would have happened if we had stayed out driving,
and I am so glad that we didn't have to find out. So,we went back, had
a cocoa party, defrosted our hands and feet, and did other productive
things.
This time of year is such a wonderful time to reflect upon what we are
grateful for. Sister Plomgren and I have started reading Luke in the
bible and have decided to read a chapter a day! There is so much to be
grateful for... As a missionary I am able to see things from a
completely different perspective and it makes me appreciate the savior
and his atonement so much more! God loves each and every one of us so
much that he gave his only begotten son. How powerful that message to
the world is. A SAVIOR IS BORN. And because of him we are able to live
again and be with the people we love for eternity. <3 I love you all!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Chicago! Eat some turkey for me... Orr...
Butternut squash. (; Have a great week and fun time setting up
Christmas! If you need any snow... Chicago has a whoooole bunch.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!

Love,
Sister Parke ❤️

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pictures Feed My Sheep

P-day spent helping with baby Benjamin!

Isn't he adorable!?!

Exchanges with Sister G! :)

Such a "sweet" day visiting!

Feed My Sheep

Hello Everyone!!

Whaaaat a week!! It started out with finishing the Book of Mormon...
Then on Tuesday morning I had the wonderful opportunity to go on
exchanges with sister Geracitano. It was hands down one of my favorite
experiences on the mission. When I am with her there is just such a
strong passion for missionary work and the desire to share the gospel
with everyone! I have been studying John chapter 21 about feeding his
sheep. The savior taught his apostles that what he needed most was for
them to teach and serve his children. This was a reminder for me to
remember how important it is to be finding the lost sheep, this was not a
coincidence, since at.. At zone conference on Thursday president focused
on teaching about....Finding, finding, finding. Emphasizing that this
what our mission NEEDS. If we aren't finding people to teach... Then we
aren't teaching. And if we aren't teaching... We aren't fulfilling our
purpose as missionaries. It is as simple as that! Being a missionary is
hard, and contacting is difficult, but that should be no excuse! We have
the Lord on our side! There is a misconception about this mission being a
hard one to find people to teach..... THERE ARE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE....
Finding the people should be the least of our worries. President also
talked a lot about striving to be authorized representatives of Jesus
Christ and holding up his light to the world. I know that as we do his
work, we can't help but to become like savior. Sharing the gospel is not
just for missionaries. We are ALL covenant children of God. The best
comfort you can bring to someone in need is the comfort of the Holy Ghost.

After zone conference we got together as a district and set certain
finding times to show our faith and our diligence to seek out gods
children who are ready to hear the truth. We have seen many miracles and
sister Plomgren and I have already found new investigators! It was really
cool... We were out tracting this week... In the frreeeezzing cold... And
we had a prompting to go to a mobile home neighborhood. We knocked on a
few doors, but nothing. So we kept on going and came to our last door for
the night. We knocked on the door and a young woman in her early twenties
answered the door... We introduced ourselves and the Book of Mormon and
she was genuinely interested! She invited us back this Sunday!! Sister
Plomgren and I are very grateful that the Lord is blessing is for our
diligence and we are able to find people to teach.

On Thursday we fasted and prayed for Maddy that her parents hearts would
be softened and that they would be accepting and understanding about
Maddys desire to be baptized. After we broke our fast we went over to
brother Obriens and Maddy received a blessing of strength and comfort.
The spirit was so strong and heavenly fathers love was most definitely
felt. On Friday Maddy talked with her parents... And it didn't go so
well. Her parents are still very against the church and told Maddy that
her joining the church would destroy their relationship and ruin their
family. How discouraging.... BUT I know the lord is answering our prayers
because Maddy has received so much love and strength despite the
circumstances and is diligently preparing for her baptism on December
23rd. She has so much FAITH and I know the Lord is blessing her and will
continue to bless her as she pursues the righteous desire to be baptized.
Please keep Maddy in your prayers!
What was so neat is in the middle of zone conference on Thursday
president unexpectedly tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to come
speak with him for a moment. My heart began racing about a hundred miles
per hour thinking... What in the world did I do? But then he told me that
the spirit prompted him to talk with me and that he too had been fasting
for Maddy! Despite his overwhelmingly busy schedule he took a half hour
to just check in and talk with me personally and with genuine concern for
our investigators, especially Maddy. How amazing is that? President
Woodbury is the best mission president in the whole world. He is so
compassionate and caring and radiates the light of a true disciple of
Christ.

On Wednesday we met with Diane. We had a wonderful lesson with her about
missionary work and service, since her daughter is putting in her mission
papers and she is very nervous and having strong feelings against it. She
is an amazing woman and her testimony is so strong.
She is very spiritual, so we are trying to focus that spirituality into
the restored gospel a little bit more. With Diane, we will share a little
thought, and she will go off on this big thought that still relates to
the gospel. The spirit was so strong. Anyways...She welcomed us back on
Saturday and we helped her detangle 49595704 yards of Christmas lights.
Afterwards we had a very deep conversation and she really opened up with
us and I feel she is beginning to trust us.
She invited us back over this week and I am looking forward to helping
Diane recognize the power of this gospel. We were very bold in asking her
what is holding her back from being baptized and she though about it and
then said, "Nothing, i just need to make the decision of when the best
time would be." As we work with her... I would love to encourage her to
be baptized the same day as Maddy, right around Christmas! How cool would
that be?

Jenkins has been out of town for the past two weeks... We are hoping he
will come to church on Sunday and make time to meet with us. It's
sometimes frustrating when people fail to recognize that the gospel is
the most important thing they could be focusing on.... But then I am
kindly reminded... This is how Heavenly Father feels about all of his
children. Rose had some unexpected family issue come up and will be
unable to pursue her interest in the church at this time... Which broke
my heart because I feel such a love for her and I know this gospel will
provide so much peace and comfort! That is one of the hardest parts of
being a Missionary. However... Despite the disappointments, there are
always the tender mercies of the Lord to remind us that God is there
helping along the way! On Sunday we had a wonderful surprise! One of the
members in our ward brought a coworker and her friend to church and we
had the opportunity of teaching them afterwards and giving them a church
tour! They were very interested and we gave them book of Mormons! They
are both young adults so they will most likely be taught by the
missionaries over the YSA ward, but it was still a wonderful opportunity
to teach them!

I feel such a strong excitement for this work and for this mission.
The Lord needs all of his missionaries to feel of his strength and have
faith!! The lord has promised that as so long as we are faithful he will
provide away in all things. I know there are many good things to come to
Chicago. This is the time to lift up our hearts and be glad... For God is
at the helm. This work brings us closer to God. It refines and
strengthens us, so when we speak he will justify our words. Missionary
work is about highs and lows.. Humbling us so he can mold us into he
needs us to become.  I know He is walking WITH me in this work. As I
better Understand who I am and who I am representing...I am able to
become more CLEAR about my purpose, and God helps me to recognize my
potential. My favorite quote this week is.. "Pray as if it all depends on
him, and work as if it all depends on me. Powerful faith requires
work!!!" This is Gods work... 2 nephi
27 has been on my mind a lot this past week. God allows man to be a part
of his great and marvelous work to help us to learn and to grow!
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to strengthen my faith in the
savior by bearing my testimony of him each day! I am so excited for this
Christmas season! We were able to watch the video for the new Christmas
campaign #asaviorisborn which will be released on the 29th.
IT IS SO GOOD. Don't pass up the opportunity to share the true meaning of
Christmas with others!

I love you and I miss all of you! I hope you are all doing well and
enjoying this holiday season! Thank you for all of your love and support.
Your prayers are most definitely felt!

Love,
Sister Parke

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pictures Ministering of Angels


Quote of the week!

Kappleman children-adorable!

The temple :)

Prom's Wedding

Katy's Baptism! Yay!

Maddy & together again with Sister Meili for a night!


Lunch out to Olive Garden

Sooo tired...


Out tracking and found my dream car!



Spending the day with the Hammonds!


Sweet baby Benjamin!

Helping Magdelene while her husband is visiting Ghana.

Ministering of Angels

Hello Everyone!!!

So much has happened this week! I think I raked more leaves this week
than I have in my entire life, but the weather has been so beautiful
and I enjoyed every minute! I absolutely love fall! I am nervous for
the wintertime! Well, I'll just jump right into the week! We had a
training all day Tuesday... It was wonderful and we talked alot about
courage and being bold. Our mission is focusing a lot on contacting
people and we now have set times of every day were we need to be out
FINDING people. This is quite tricky in our area because people are at
work and school most the day and then it gets dark at 4:30! Soooo this
means we have to get creative and follow the spiritual promptings we
receive exactly! Sometimes it becomes discouraging... Buuut work
without faith.... Is dead! So we are keepin the faith and we know the
Lord will place people in our path whose hearts are being prepared to
hear the gospel.
So Katy's baptism was on Saturday... And it was wonderful!! She was so
happy! The miraculous thing was that her sister attended and decided
she wanted to learn more too! I love attending baptisms... And it's
not just because I am a missionary! What a great reminder it is to
remember the sacredness and importance of baptism. Maddy was able to
attend Katy's baptism... And the spirit just touched her. She started
crying, and told me she was so excited for her own baptism and how
special it will be. Back in September when Maddy decided to push her
baptism date back, I was a little disappointed at first. However,
looking back it has been such a blessing. Maddys testimony has grown
so much over the past few months and waiting to be baptized has given
her the time to truly strengthen her testimony and understand the
sacred covenants she will be making.
On Friday evening we had an awesome lesson with Maddy and we talked a
lot about the story of Esther and having courage. We also testified of
the importance of prayer and fasting. Just as Esther, Maddy is asking
us to pray and fast with her that her parents hearts will be softened
and they will support her decision to be baptized. Maddy has such
great faith and I know as she acts on that faith Heavenly Father will
bless her! I believe her parents will come around to the idea of her
being baptized. I absolutely love her parents and we get along great!
On Friday after the lesson Maddys mom talked with us for awhile and
then started playing the piano and we all started singing Christmas
carols together about baby Jesus. It was a really neat experience.
Patience in the Lords timing.... They will someday come around.
So really cool story! Since brother Kappelman just went through the
temple last month,   Sister Kappelman thought it would be special
experience if they went back to do sealings together as a couple as
they prepare for their family to be sealed. Sister Kappelman said that
this is the first sealing session that both her and her husband had
ever been through... Here is the cool part. The family they were doing
proxy for had FOUR children named, "Niels, anders, annaclara, and
Soren." THOSE ARE THE EXACT NAMES OF THEIR CHILDREN. A coincidence?
Absolutely not. Brother Kappelman is into family history work and has
decided that before they are sealed as a family he wants to do his
mothers work so that they can all be sealed on the same day. I'm so
grateful for the blessings of the temple and the knowledge we can be
sealed together forever with our families! ❤️
Has some fun experiences tracting this week. On Saturday evening
sister Plomgren and I had about an hour before our dinner appointment
and I still needed to get 3,000 more steps to hit my daily goal... So
of course I recommended tracting to go and find some people. Sister
Plomgren seemed a little reluctant since... It was cold... And getting
dark... But being the super amazing companion that she is... She came
with me! So here we are walking down the street knockin on some
doors... Meeting people from all over the world, and no one wants to
talk to us. Which is sad, but it's okay we just sang some hymns and
tried to stay up beat. Well that lasted for a while longer... It
started to get dark... And we were cold and hungry and not to
mention... Tired. So I told sister Plomgren... Let's head back. She
wanted to stop by one last house, this time I was reluctant and may
have murmured a little. Sister Plomgren is awesome and she said, "when
you don't feel like doing it... That is when you know you must do it."
So we walked up to this door and knocked... A woman answered and we
introduced ourselves and asked to share an important message about
Jesus Christ with her family. She urgently welcomed us in. Sister
Plomgren and I both looked at each other... Thinking... Did this
really just happen? So she sat us down on her couch and gathered her
family. We told them about the restoration of the gospel and bore our
testimonies of Jesus Christ. Turns out they are content with their
current beliefs and religion... But it brought hope. Hope that their
are people who will be willing to listen to us and accept the glorious
message we have to share. That woman was a tender mercy of the Lord
for sister Plomgren and I. The Lord may not always give us exactly
what we ask for... But he will always place reminders of hope...
Little flecks of gold to remind us that he is there... Watching over
us.
I have a personal testimony of miracles.... There are so many miracles
that go unnoticed each and every day because we fail to acknowledge
them. I am on my last few chapters in the Book of Mormon and was
studying Moroni chapter 7. This is easily one of my favorite
chapters... Full of guidance and direction of how we can follow the
example and light Jesus Christ and how he answers prayers. As I was
studying verses 24-32 the phrase, "ministering of angels" stood out to
me. The lord says he will use the ministering of angels to bring forth
and "declare the word of Christ, unto the chosen vessels of the lord,
that they may bear testimony of him." I am a personal witness that the
ministering of angels is real and is one of the most important parts
of missionary work. I feel of gods uplifting love and power each and
every day, it as if angels are round about helping to bear the heavy
load. I testify, when we go through hard times, and it feels as if we
can go no further, the lord will bless and provide a way. My
ponderization scripture for the week was D&C 6:36 "look unto me in
every thought; doubt not, fear not."  Heavenly Father knows each and
everyone of his children individually. He loves us... So much that he
provided a plan of salvation made possible through the savior Jesus
Christ so that we May return to live with him again. I encourage each
of you to share HIS gospel. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of
our faith. He is the atoner. It is his gospel because he paid the
price. What a privilege to be a missionary and declare this glorious
message. I know this is gods work. The feelings of inadequacy are
real. But the lord knows what he is doing... He always will provide
the way.
I love you all so much. I am grateful for the mercy of the Lord and
his love and patience for all of us. All things are made possible
through him!
Philippians 4:13

Love,
Sister Parke

P.s. Here are pictures of Magdalene's baby... Benjamin. Is he not the
CUUUUUTEST baby you have ever seen?!? He melted my heart. So so sad
that I can't hold a baby as a missionary! Her husband went to Ghana
the next 4 weeks so she is all alone here with no family with the
baby. Sad right? Sister Plomgren and I are going to spend all day with
her today for Pday! HE IS SO ADORABLE.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pictures Miracles!

Rain Rain go away! It rained all week! :)

My sweet comp! Love her!

Yummy butternut squash bisque! 

More rain ;)

Book of Mormon class with Maddy!

Yes we have a good time...

Good morning all! Ready for church!

Stovetop smore's with the Kapplemans!

Here is were my life happens. 

So love sharing the gospel with my friends!

Goofy Girls

ya gotta love that face!