Monday, September 28, 2015

There is a Rose to every Thorn!

Hello Everyone! 

Headed on my fourth month in the mission field? Where has all the time gone? I am looking forward to General conference this weekend! It is like Christmas for the missionaries! I am so excited to hear from the prophet and his apostles and find out the new Elders in the quorum of the twelve! Isn't it comforting to know there is no questioning about the organization of the church? I am telling you what, everyone should serve missions.... The greater understanding and comprehension of the gospel you are able to gain through a mission is incredible and is a knowledge I will be grateful to have for eternity! That being said.... What a week it has been! I will admit I am feeling overwhelmed with what to share.... So much has happened! I will do my best with the time I am allotted. 

 We had ALOT of meetings this week. Which is super great because missionaries love meetings because we get to be spiritually uplifted and edified. We had a training meeting all day on Tuesday and I learned so much about how to become a more focused diligent missionary. I am so far from perfect and the lord is helping me and teaching me along the way! It amazes me that the lord sees us not for who we are, but who we can become. Isn't that powerful? He knows our full potential.... He has the road map to our success... Why is it often times so difficult to trust in his plan? And that my friends is the purpose of why we are here in this life. To learn... To grow. And to TRUST IN HIM. The simplicity, yet complexity of the gospel amazes me.  

Well, I can say I am a firm believer of opposition in hard things. Life in the mission field is like an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes your up... And sometimes your down.. But always before you can go up... You must first experience the low. I would say that is one of the hardest parts of being a missionary. Also the greatest way to build a testimony. I often question, why are weaknesses and trials given to us? Why do are we given trials that often seem to heavy to bear? It's because this life is a test. I was reading in alma 62:41  and it talks about the people being humbled in their afflictions. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I CHOOSE how I will be affected by adversity. I love the quote by someone I can't remember but it's written in my scriptures....but it says "surely these great adversities are not without some external purpose or effect. They can turn our hearts to God. Even as adversities inflict mortal hardships, they can also be the means of leading men and women to external blessings." There are reasons for the trials in life. God didn't send his children to Earth to let them suffer. He loves each and every child individually and that is why.... He allows us to go through challenges so that we may grow closer to him! 
Yesterday we had the opportunity to meet with our new investigator Rose. She has been faithfully reading the Book of Mormon and when we arrived at her house she had two pages full of questions for us! Rose is a very successful woman and is a pharmacist and has her Ph.d in medicine research? Anyways... Super smart. She has been a catholic all of her life, however recently she has begun to question some of their beliefs. Over the past few years her life has seemed to fall apart, her health is escalating and because of such she was laid off from her job and now she is struggling to find the light at the end of the tunnel. She asked us specifically, "how do people of your faith view trials, and how do we overcome them?" I was then able to bear my testimony of the purpose of this life and it's not because the lord is punishing us... It is because he loves us and wants us to turn to him. We set up an appointment to teach her the first lesson on Sunday evening in the bishops home. The lord has prepared Roses heart to hear the message of the restoration of the gospel. Last night she texted us saying " thank you sisters Parke and Plomgren for your help and inspiration. Maybe being in Illinois isn't as exciting as China or South America, but sometimes I think there are more souls here that need saving. We are too focused on material things vs. celestial atonement and redemption."  The lord is preparing people to receive this gospel. Now is the time to go out and find them!!

I testify that true joy and happiness is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. How grateful I am for this humbling opportunity to serve the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world. I rely on him for strength in all things. I am grateful for modern day prophets and revelation we receive. Please make General conference a priority. I know that as you do, you will be blessed.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!! Enjoy conference and share the happiness with others!! The world needs the gospel!!

Sister Parke  

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