Monday, October 12, 2015

Finding Happiness

Gooooooodmorning! Oh my what a week it has been! So much to catch up
on!! (: Transfers are this week... Annnnd NO TRANSFER. Which is
wonderful! However, they are putting NEW sisters into BG2 which
means... Maddy would no longer be our investigator. IT WAS SO SAD. I
called Maddy late Saturday night and both she and I were crying. I
spent most of Saturday night in tears feeling so sad because Maddy and
I couldn't have contact anymore. I prayed all night and by Sunday
morning I felt at peace and knew it would all work out. On Sunday
morning Maddy and I sat down with brother obrien and explained the
situation. We came to the conclusion that the lord knows best and he
has a plan. He then called and talked to president Woodbury  and also
the bishop of Maddys ward went to the mission home to discuss with
President.  Since Maddys situation is very unique and she is on date
for baptism and I have formed that special relationship with her and
her family they are allowing Me to continue to teach Maddy on splits
with one of the new sisters! President called me this morning and told
me that as long as I am in the area that we can continue to have
contact with Maddy. ANSWER TO PRAYERS. I am still slightly
disappointed because now we can't continue to work with BG2 ward,
which breaks my heart because of the Obriens! We also had a woman
named Prom who just moved here from India about 6 months ago come to
church on Sunday and ask if we could begin to teach her.... So
excited! We are teaching her on Tuesday night! The only sad part is...
She is also is BG2 boundaries.  So we will be handing her over as
well. :( buuut its ok!! Heavenly Father will bless us with more people
to teach as we are faithful and obedient!

This week We've been stepping up our personal finding, because it had
been so nice out, and also because we want more people to teach.
Contacting/tracting is not the best method for finding people...
Because everyone is rich and feels as if they don't need God or they
don't speak English... but at least we are showing the Lord that we
care and want to find people. Tuesday was so nice out, which was
strange because the day before we were bundled up in coats, tights,
and gloves. We went to one neighborhood, and almost all of the doors
we knocked opened! But no one wanted to hear a message about Jesus
Christ. But it was seriously so nice out that felt as if, "I could do
this forever!" We went to a park and started handing out pass-along
cards, which some people took, and most didn't. We were heading back
to our car and passed the last person that we're going to be able to
contact. Sister Plomgren extended the card and said, "Do you want a
picture of Jesus?" and he took it like "ok thanks" and kept walking
like most people do, and we go to get in our car and we hear, "Wait!
Come back!"  The last contact of the day wanted to learn more! It was
so cool! We explained a little about the church and about the Book of
Mormon, and I gave him a copy, and he looked at me and said, "You mean
I can have this?" Uhm, yeah? We got his contact info and he said that
he was coming to the Halloween party!! Tender mercies.

So this week we were pondering on how to help Maddy progress and help
her strengthen her relationship with Heavenly Father. We felt prompted
to introduce Maddy to personal progress! What a wonderful blessing the
personal progress program is. We had a great lesson with Maddy with
sister Kappelman about personal progress and since sis. Kappelman
didn't grow up with the church and just received a calling as a
miamaid advisor is was very helpful for her to also understand the
purpose of PP. Looking back through the PP book i have felt inspired
to also start doing personal progress right along with Maddy. The
value experiences are excellent ways provided to help us become more
like the Savior. Although I completed personal progress when I was
younger I have now gained a greater love and appreciation for this
wonderful opportunity to work towards strengthening myself to become a
better mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and most importantly..
Daughter of God. I am looking forward with setting goals and working
on personal progress with Maddy to help her strengthen her testimony
of the Savior as she prepares for her baptism.

We have been working a lot with the Kappelman family in helping them
recognize the importance of temples and being sealed as a family.
Brother Kappelman was recently baptized last year but has been
striving to prepare himself to go through the temple so that they can
be sealed as a family. Sister Kappelman calls it a miracle because she
never expected her husband to join the church! However , it is proof
that God softens hearts because brother Kappelman is going through the
temple to receive his endowment THIS Friday night!! We received
special permission from president to attend the session!! SO EXCITED.
There is just such a light in their family, I am so grateful for the
opportunity that I have had to get to know them better. Sister
Kappelman has us over to help the children understand the importance
of a temple marriage and prepare for the day they can go through as a
family and be sealed. Oh what beautiful day that will be.

Speaking of temples.... We have been working a lot with a
less-active/recent convert woman named Olga Diaz. When I first came
into the area Olga didn't want to have anything to do with the
missionaries.. It broke my heart, however we DID NOT GIVE UP... We
kept reaching out to her and inviting her to church. Finally one night
she let us in and we shared a message with her about Jesus Christ and
how much he loves each and everyone of us. The spirit was so strong.
Since that night a few months ago Olga has started to come back to
church and has us over for lunch and a lesson every  Friday!! I love
Olga! She has had and has such a hard life, what a joy and happiness
that the gospel brings and provides peace and comfort in her life.
This week we had a lesson with her about temples, and the importance
of temples. She is working towards becoming temple worthy and knows it
will bless her life. She also had never heard of a patriarchal
blessing before and we we're able to teach her and tell her what a
wonderful blessing and helpful insight it is to help feel of heavenly
fathers love. On Sunday she came to church and EVERYONE who got up to
bear their testimony talked about temples. The spirit was felt so
strong.. And sitting next to Olga, I just knew that she KNEW.  annnnd
that my friends is why... I am serving a mission. When you help
someone draw closer to the Savior... There is just no greater feeling
of happiness.

I studied a lot about Happiness this week. We had a PNI ask... "Where
is true happiness found? And how can I obtain it?" The answer is so
simple. True happiness is found in faith in Jesus Christ and his
atonement, and acknowledging Gods love not only for yourself, but also
for others. This helped my refocus on my purpose as a missionary, I am
here to share the HAPPINESS that comes from living the gospel. When I
feel of the joy that the gospel brings There is no way I can deny
sharing it with others because the desire is so strong. I have learned
that being HAPPY as not only a missionary... But also a member of the
church is the key to success in attracting people to the gospel,
because it is that light in our eyes that they are able to see and
feel. God created men that they might have Joy!! That is why Gods
eternal plan for his children is called... "The plan of happiness"!!
We are here on this Earth to learn and to grow, to discover the joy
and happiness the gospel brings through relying on the Savior. God has
promised that as we obey him and keep his commandments we will be
blessed. What a comforting knowledge we have to know that we are all
children of God and have divine potential and that after this life we
will live in happiness with our families! The best part is... We can
find happiness NOW if we choose to keep the spirit in our lives and
obey Gods will.

Choose to be happy! Thank you for your support!! I love each of you!
Have a wonderful week!! Enjoy this wonderful fall season!!

Sister Parke

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