Monday, May 2, 2016

Do YOU Know it?

Hello Family and Friends!
What a week. Can't believe April is over and now May Is here! Sister
Webber and I are suuuper busy and it makes the time just fly by! This
transfer is nearly over!! Ahhh! So sad because president Woodbury only
has one more transfer with us! I don't want him to leave, but I am
also excited for the new mission president. Alright so, just to jump
into this week. Sister Webber and I decided to prune the vineyard
(clean out our area book) and pretty much dropped a large amount of
our investigators who just didn't seem to be progressing. We
considered it to be an act of faith, and the Lord is blessing us with
so many more people to teach.
This week we met with Jess twice. We had an amazing lesson with Her
and taught about the plan of Salvation. She is progressing very well!
So many questions and just an honest sincere desire to learn more and
build a relationship with the savior. I already love her so much! We
are meeting with her again this evening. I am very excited!  On
Tuesday the Lord blessed us two new investigators! One of them was
from the member referral I mentioned about last week.. Stefanie. It
was so cool! We met up with her and got to know her better.. She is
from Brazil and just moved here a year ago. She is studying to become
a clinical psychologist! How awesome is that? But it gets even
better... She is genuinely interested in learning about the Book of
Mormon! We taught her the restoration.. And she was so grateful.. She
kept thanking us.. Thank you for telling me this! Thank you! Then when
we gave her the Book of Mormon she was so excited. She definitely has
a lot of desire to learn more and is such a sweet girl. I look forward
to getting to know her better and teaching her more!
This week I went on exchanges with sister Stringham... Aka my soul
sister. I love her so much. Wow it was incredible! So many miracles.
We met with a man we are teaching named Aquila. He is from Africa and
met the missionaries a few months ago. He has come to church a couple
of times and is genuinely interested... So of course... We are
teaching him the lessons! We taught him all about the restoration of
the gospel. It was so powerful. I wish I could record every detail. He
attended Carleens baptism and told us that baptism is something he
wants to work towards and prepare himself for. He came to all three
hours of church on Sunday and he LOVED it. He is definitely an answer
to the prayers especially for the SA branch!!
ALL DAY Saturday it was POURING rain! Buuut missionaries love rain..
Because when you are cold and wet.. The law of compensation is real...
And it is pretty much instant miracles. The best. On Saturday we had
countless miracles.! Cool story. So we were standing by the bus stop
waiting in the rain. Literally I was sopping wet. We had missed our
bus before so we had a longer wait.. I had forgot my umbrella in the
apartment. Who forgets there umbrella in the apartment on a day like
this?! Anyways I was praying to Heavenly Father for strength to not
murmur and to be optimistic.. I REALLY was wishing for an umbrella.
Not even 30 seconds later a car pulls up to the bus stop. An older
woman gets out of the car... Walks up to me and hands me an umbrella
and says I need to give this to you. And then without another word
walks away. I am 99.9% sure it was an angel. Haha. I was just standing
there thinking... Man, God is so good. So yes. God sent me an umbrella
in an all day rainstorm.
Unfortunately most all of our appointments fell through so we were
stuck in the rain trying to find people to teach.. And I don't know if
many of you have noticed.. But finding people to listen on the rain is
quite difficult.. So we sought shelter in a nearby McDonald's. Didn't
have too much success (so we thought) until later that evening we
received a text from a man we had contacted earlier named Danilo he is
from Brazil. He wants to learn more about the church! We have a follow
up appointment with him on Tuesday!
This week we also had an awesome lesson with Cynthia! We started
talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and talking about how Jesus
Christ set the example of baptism for us. She came to church on Sunday
which was awesome! Her boyfriend left to go back to China.. So
hopefully she will have more time to meet with us now! Hmm.. What
else? Last night we met with the APs and our branch president Sunday
night to discuss ways of how to help the branch grow stronger and how
we could help rescue others and bring them back into the fold! It was
very helpful and the lord is blessing us with revelation on how to
help the branch!
Okay. Last miracle moment of the day... We had just got done with our
last appointment.. Still raining.. Keep in mind.. And we were cutting
it close on time to make it home for curfew. We were in a reaaaaaally
sketch part of Chicago and it was kinda dark and scary! I was kinda
lost and didn't know where to go.. Prayin for a bus and some sort of
direction.. Seconds later I saw our bus stopped at a red light in an
intersection up the street we RAN to the bus and the bus driver was so
kind he let us on the bus even when it wasn't even a legit stop. No
one else was on the bus at the time and I'm pretty sure God sent the
bus to us.. Because we made it home safely and right on time! I know
when we are obedient God blesses us in ways we can't even imagine!
I have been reflecting a lot this week about the foundation of my
testimony. Do I truly believe this? Why do I believe and follow the
leaders that I have? It all comes down to whether or not Joseph Smith
is a true prophet of God. Each time I teach the restoration is when
the spirit has born the strongest witness in my heart. I KNOW IT.
Joseph smith saw God and his son Jesus Christ and heard his voice. God
speaks to his children again! I am grateful to all of those who have
helped me to develop and strengthen my faith in the savior. Sometimes
we think that we must have a big moment of confirmation... But it is
small and simple things. I know we have a prophet on Earth today who
leads and guides this church. I know President Monson receives
authority from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and is truly guided
and directed by the authority that is higher and more knowing than we
can comprehend. I do not understand everything, but I rely on the
knowledge that I do know. I KNOW without a doubt in my mind that the
Book of Mormon is the word of God and it is written for our day. I
know that hastening the work of salvation is the work of the Lord and
nothing will stop it from going forth. I was studying in Mormon 8 this
morning and came across the scripture, "For eternal purposes of the
Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled."  How
true it is. This is Gods work. We ALL have the responsibility to be a
part of it. God is looking out for all of his children. As long as we
are doing all that we can and we are TRYING I testify his grace will
make up for the rest. I know God is there. He loves us personally and
individually. I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to
help others understand who he is and build a relationship with him.
I love you all! Thank you for your love and support! Have a great week!

Sister Rachel Parke

Favorite quote of the week.
"If our faith does not change the way we live, if our beliefs do not
influence our daily decisions, our religion is vain"
Dieter F Uchtdorf

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