Monday, December 14, 2015


Week of many miracles
Hello Everyone!
What a great week!! (: the first of many miracles is the fact that it
has been higher than 50 degrees ALL WEEK. absolutely amazing. Sister
Plomgren and I are soaking it all in. (; literally. It's been quite
rainy.  We are headed into the city today for P-day so that will be
quite fun! There is so much to catch up on, sadly I only have a
limited time today.. So I will share the amazing experiences we had
this week with Maddy!
I cannot tell you how happy I am for her. It has not been an easy
road, yet she has remained so strong and the Lord is blessing her. So,
We have been suuuuper busy preparing for her baptism... We want it to
be so special for her! We are getting decorations from the ward and
decorating the RS room! It's going to be like a winter wonderland!
Maddys favorite treat is dipped strawberries so we will be making
those at the kappelmans, as well as chocolates for her baptism. It
will be such an a,amazing day! Maddy has asked me to speak on the Holy
Ghost, and play I know my redeemer lives at her baptism. Yes you could
say I'm a little nervous. But it will be great.
So as far as BYUIDAHO goes, after 3 weeks of not hearing back from
BYU-idahos admission office. We finally got things figured out and
Maddy was accepted. Then miraculously she was assigned to the winter
semester.  Tuesday night Maddy told her parents about BYUIDAHO ... It
did NOT go well at all. Her parents are  still highly against the
church and want nothing to do with it, nor do they want Maddy to be
baptized or attend a church school. This obviously is very hard on
Maddy, because she now has to choose between the church and her
family. This last week has been tough on her but I am amazed by her
resilience and strong faith. After pondering and praying about what to
do, Maddy has received the answer to be baptized and go to school at
BYU Idaho. And ever since she has made that decision everything has
fallen into place.
I know I am meant to be here to help Maddy, and that is the best
feeling in the whole world. Before I decided to serve a mission I was
feeling confused as to what the next decision to take in my life. I
felt prompted to apply for BYU Idaho and was accepted, I was planning
on going to school there and researched apartments and tuition,
classes and programs. As you know obviously I didn't end up going to
school there because I am here on a mission now, but until now I never
fully understood why I had the prompting to apply there. Maybe I had
to go through that to help Maddy get things figured out for school, it
has been such a blessing. Tender mercies. The Lord is ever so aware of
Maddy. I love her so much and I can feel Gods immense love for her.
How proud he is of her for her faith and he is blessing her. Maddy is
such an amazing daughter of God, and I am so grateful for the
opportunity I have to help her grow closer to the savior. What a sweet
experience it is. I can now start to understand the scripture in D & C
18:10-16 the joy that is felt in bringing souls unto Christ. I
wouldn't change this experience for anything else.
So, the STRANGEST thing happened on Saturday morning. We woke up with
a text from Maddys mom asking if we wanted to meet at her church for a
cookie walk. So we decided we would go and met her there, a little
nervous because of the situation with Maddy. We show up and meet her
there and she is THE FRIENDLIEST she has ever been. She welcomed us
with hugs and said, "I just want to get you two some homemade cookies
for the holidays, I am sure it is so hard to be away from home." We
talked with her for about an hour and things were just like normal.
She was happy as ever and was so sweet. I really feel as if the Lord
is helping to soften Maddys parents hearts. Even maddy said she has
noticed an extreme difference since she made the decision to be
baptized. The Lord blesses us for our faith!
On Friday we had a really cool experience! It has been a long day and
sister Plomgren had been sick all week and I was just beginning to not
feel so great. We both were a little discouraged and didn't really
have the desire to talk to anyone. We decided to go into a Mariano's
to try and contact a few more people. Sister Plomgren sat down I I
started talking to a young woman who worked there. She was so nice and
friendly... Which was a good for a change (; Her name is Dorina and
she is from Bulgaria! Turns out her best friend is Mormon! That's not
even the coolest part. Do you remember back in October when our ward
mission leader got us flowers and hot chocolate when we were having a
hard day? Well, turns out Dorina is the one who helped Serve him! She
remembered him because he told her he was Mormon and wanted to know
where the church was! This Sunday just so happened to be Invitation
Sunday... And we invited her to come to church with us! It helped
uplift our day and reassured that God is always there and is aware of
our efforts. So excited to get to know Dorina better and hopefully
teach her about the gospel!
So sister Plomgren and I have been studying a chapter of Luke a day up
until Christmas. How amazing it has been to study in depth about the
saviors life on earth and how he lived. This week I was studying in
Luke 18 about the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. I love
the verse, "pray always, and not to faint." To faint means to become
discouraged or weary or tire of something... It then made me ponder on
the importance of enduring to the end. I have come to the conclusion
that the key to enduring to the end and avoiding discouragement of
growing weary is remembering the purpose in doing something... Whether
it be for church... School... Work.. Etc.  I've noticed that most
people who are struggling with working hard or preserving through the
hard times don't remember their purpose of why they are doing it. It
is not necessarily about individual strength, it's about the strength
of the purpose. My mind reflects back to the difference between Nephi
and Laman and Lemuel in the Book of Mormon. Nephi prayed and learned
for himself the purpose and importance of returning to Jerusalem. He
also had great faith. Laman and Lemuel never tried to recognize the
purpose and so that is why they struggled to put forth the effort.
My dad taught me... And continues to teach me the value of hard work
and to always remember my purpose. People who remember their purpose
and keep it strong, form the habit of doing things failures do not
like to do... And then they succeed. On a mission, it is critical to
everyday remember the purpose of why I am here, because if I don't,
well like Laman and Lemuel... My faith begins to dwindle and How easy
it becomes to lose hope. Perseverance is the secret to success. I
found this quote in my studies this week. "Perseverance is rooted in
the foundational gospel principles of faith and hope. Perseverance
reflects our faith that our actions will bring the lords blessings
into our lives."  the only way to Endure to the end is through the
savior Jesus Christ. through him we a able to find strength we never
imagined. Peace to our souls, and happiness to our countenance. I am
so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary, especially this
time of year!! To understand the true meaning of Christmas, we only
have to remove the last syllable and remember CHRIST. Merry

Sending lots of love from the City of Chicago!!

Sister Parke

No comments:

Post a Comment