Monday, February 15, 2016


Hello Everyone!
What a week! Sister Patterson and I found out we are staying together
for another transfer!!! YAY!!! I am so grateful, because heaven knows
I am not quite ready to navigate my way around this crazy town myself.
(; We are very excited to work hard together in this area because
there is so much to be done! We are meeting with the bishop and the
AP's tonight to discuss how we can come together as members and
missionaries to hasten the work! (the new and the current AP are both
also from Layton-so it is all three of us laytonites serving together
in the same ward!) Which honestly is very helpful since I know both of
them we are able to work well together in unity to get things done!
Working in a YSA ward is pretty much the greatest thing ever. So yes,
we have our work cut out for us.. But we are trying not to become too
overwhelmed and remember small and simple things. We decided to start
it this transfer off right by deep cleaning our apartment this
morning. It's harder to feel the spirit in a cluttered environment.

Time is just flying by.  On Monday night we had a lesson with one of
our new investigators Carleen. We met her at the church, however we
were unable to get in because the keys weren't in the lockbox. It was
freezing cold & snowing!! I said a quick prayer in my heart and then
we started trying to think of what missionaries  lived close by that
might have keys to the building. Then I realized president Woodbury
lived right down the street! We tried calling both him and sister answer. With nothing to lose we drove down to the
mission home and knocked.... And there comes sister Woodbury!!!
#miracle! She had just gotten home 2 mins before and was waiting for
president to get home and then they were leaving.  We literally had
like a 10 min gap of them being home to let us in so we could have a
lesson. I know the Lord was looking out for us because we ended up
being early and so was Carleen, so if we had all been on time we would
have missed the Woodburys and had no where to go. It was cool the
lesson was Awesome!!! I'm so excited to teach Carleen she is amazing.
She grew up Catholic and has been dating one of the members in the
Buffalo Grove ward for a little over a year. She has been to church a
couple of times with his family and now they are starting to attend
the singles ward together. She has been interested in the Book of
Mormon and has been reading it on her own. At first she held back from
taking the missionary lessons because she wanted to make sure it was
for herself and not for her boyfriend. The past few months she has
been drawn to the church and now desires to take the missionary
lessons to learn more. Carleen is awesome and has definitely been
prepared by the Lord to hear about the gospel. I testify the spirit of
the Lord works on those who are prepared!

On Wednesday we taught at zone training about who we are and what our
purpose is. We also discussed patriarchal blessings. That night we had
an appointment with a less active member ( Kristina) and we invited
her visiting teacher (Sister Wallace) to come. Sister Wallace and
Kristina got along right away and we barely had time to squeeze in a
spiritual thought! Haha but when we did we talked about patriarchal
blessings. It was amazing because Sister Wallace had just had a cool
experience with her Patriarchal blessing that she was able to share
and it touched Kristina! We never got the chance to tell Sister
Wallace what we planned on teaching Kristina so again I know the
spirit was directing us to teach the message Kristina needed to hear!

We met with Katie this week. We have been talking a lot to her about
the priesthood and encouraged her to receive a blessing of comfort and
counsel. So yesterday the elders came and gave her a blessing. It was
very inspiring for her and she is faithfully pressing forward towards
getting baptized. However, it will not be as soon as we hoped because
she is facing some personal challenges right now that must first be
resolved before she can be baptized. So we are working with her
towards her baptism and maintaining faith, Sometimes I really just
don't like how people choose to use their agency... But then I
remember how Heavenly Father feels about each one of his children and
I am reminded to have patience and compassion. Many of our
investigators this week are struggling with some sort of issue, with
is insanely frustrating as missionaries because you just want shake
them and make them realize that this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing they
should be worried about and striving towards. But agency is a real
thing.... To which I am very grateful. I know the Lord is most
definitely testing my love and patience this week.

On a happier note! We had an AWESOME lesson with Morgan! I have gained
a more clear understanding of the atonement this week. We taught our
Morgan the importance of Jesus Christ and the role he played in Gods
plan for us. We used an object lesson with Ketchup... (Yes it sounds
silly... But it helped him understand). So we poured ketchup in hands
and then asked him to pick up his phone. Of course he wouldn't do
it... So they we scraped off the ketchup and then asked him to pick of
his phone. He still wouldn't do it because his hands were still
sticky! We then told him to go wash his hands and then he was able to
pick up his phone. Sister Patterson and I then explained how each one
of us are covered in Ketchup *figuratively* and how we can try to do
our best to not make mistakes and to repent... To wipe the ketchup off
ourselves... But without the atonement and baptism... We will never be
able to be fully washed clean. It was then that Morgan recognized the
true importance of baptism. We asked him if it was something we still
wanted to work towards and he said yes!! He is progressing VERY WELL,
however He is not quite ready to be baptized YET.. because there are
still many things we are helping him come to understand... Especially
his faith in Jesus Christ. But his desire to know more intrigues me,
and helps to increase my faith and my testimony!  I know that in order
to feel true faith we NEED the atonement. I testify that it is through
the atonement of Jesus Christ we can be cleansed. As we cleanse
ourselves by applying the blessings of the atonement- such as baptism-
we are able to be forgiven of our sins and become pure and clean!

I know that faith and testimonies are strengthened as we strive to do
the little things on a daily basis. God loves us and wants us to
succeed. By obeying and keeping the commandments the lord will guide
our life and we are never alone. It stake conference this weekend they
really focused on obeying the commandments of the Lord. Something that
really stood out to me is-- if the lord wants to give his children
blessings, he must also give them commandments. It makes sense doesn't
it? The Lord desires to bless us and he does so according to our
faith.  The church asks a lot of its members... But what a great
opportunity to demonstrate more faith... Which means more blessings!
Think about it... That's why missionaries are so blessed! Because we
have SO many rules and have to rely on faith! But as we are obedient,
the Lord showers us with blessings and we witness miracles. I testify
that obedience brings happiness and demonstrates our love to Heavenly
Father. There are some days that are harder than others, but as we
have faith and do all we can to live the commandments and submit our
will to the Lords we will be blessed beyond measure. We really aren't
sacrificing much, I was studying in Omni 1:26 this morning and it
states to "offer your whole souls as an offering unto him." Elder Neil
Maxwell said "As you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the
only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give”
Sacrificing our will for Gods through obedience to his laws and
commandments is truly the only way to find everlasting happiness.
There is joy that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. My
challenge to each of you this week is to read alma 32. Compare the
seed to obedience and faith with happiness. Substitute knowledge for
joy. What a cool analogy! I testify that The gospel of Jesus Christ is
a gospel of love and forgiveness. Jesus is the Son of God. He stands
at the head of this church. His representative today is President
Monson. If we follow and OBEY the teachings of the prophet and his
apostles we will not be lead astray.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and I am looking forward to
hearing from you! Thank you for your thoughts and your prayers! I love

Sister Parke

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