Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Simple Desire

Hello Everyone!

............NO TRANSFER CALL!!!  I could not be HAPPIER!! I love this
area and my companion soooooo much!! This is going to be the BEST
transfer yet I can just feel it! Sister Webber and I are excited to
set some new goals and keep the fire going! This week has honestly
just been a blur. The days can be long yet the weeks disappear so
quickly. Regardless, it has been a VERY good week and we have
witnessed many many miracles!

This week we had two amazing lessons with Jess! She is absolutely
incredible! On Monday we talked a lot about how to recognize
promptings of the spirit and receive answers to prayers. During the
middle of the lesson she told us that she quit drinking coffee last
week, and that as she is making and keeping these commitments she is
feeling her relationship with God strengthen. SO COOL. She is
progressing very well, came to church on Sunday and loved it! We have
another lesson with her tonight! I am very excited.

Tuesday was a long one for sure. We had lots of responsibilities to
fulfill, missionary work is so much more than just going out and
talking to them to see if they would be interested in the gospel.
Well... At least here in Chicago! The YSA ward keeps us on our toes,
but I love it and it makes it all worth it. We had a lesson with our
investigators Erin and grace. They are students at a college here in
Chicago. We have been meeting with them for about 5 weeks however,
unfortunately they will be returning home for summer break! It's kinda
a bummer because most of our teaching pool in the YSA is plummeting
because everyone is going home from school. Well shoot a pickle.
Sister Webstar and I are just turning on our investigator finding
mode. Haha the hurtin is real because a lot of the new investigators
just aren't sticking...l they are super interested at first and then
we teach them a couple lessons and when they have to start making
commitments they get scared off. It truly is a real thing.. And
insanely frustrating sometimes. But yes of course, God blessed each of
us with agency... I just don't always love how some of his children
choose to use it! (;

We had zone training aaaalll day and it was awesome! The zone is
definitely becoming more unified and drawing closer together. What is
so great about our mission is that we are all Very close to one
another. The Chicago mission is one of the most densely populated
missions which means that we have more missionary companionships
serving Near one another. It makes it very helpful to keep one another
motivated and united in the work! In zone training we focused on
developing Christlike attributes and how we can understand true
doctrine of the gospel that will lead to action.

On Thursday, We had an appointment downtown with a man who just moved
to Chicago two months ago because he feels like it is "where God needs
him to be" he is YSA age and is trying to figure things out. He has
had a pretty tough life and is trying to turn it over to God and
follow him. We were able to teach him about the restoration and
priesthood authority. He seems to struggle with accepting modern day
prophets. We committed him to read from the Book of Mormon, and pray
to know for himself if it is true. We are hoping he will keep his
commitments and that he is actually going to put effort into learning,
the gospel would do so much for him. It's so hard to accept sometimes
that people have agency! Still working on my patience and long
suffering... That's for sure! Haha.

Friday. We went on exchanges with our sisters... the sister I was with
has a sprained ankle.. And currently they aren't teaching anyone so
the day was FULL of finding. How does one find with a companion who
cannot walk? The answer is simple my friends. A wheelchair! Sooo... I
spend most the day on Friday pushing sweet sister Graubard in a
wheelchair contacting people! It was so fun and suuuuch a beautiful

Ahhh, we were able to have such an incredible lesson with Cynthia. She
is progressing very well. Ever since we have been focusing on the
simplicity of the doctrine she has been able to better understand it
and apply it to her life. During the lesson she told us that her
prayer had been answered and that she knew God was aware of her. It
was THE COOLEST moment ever. She has been fervently seeking to
understand the scriptures! I am so happy she is more willing to learn
and understand more. Now that she is graduated she should have a lot
more time to meet with us, annnnd on the bright side she came to
church on Sunday!

We had an awesome lesson with our recent convert Gabe! He hasn't been
to church in three months because of work. We have been meeting with
him regularly to help keep his testimony strong. Miracle moment of the
day, at the end of the lesson Gabe said, "I'm coming to church
tomorrow, it's time... I really need it." He moved everything around
at work so that he will be able to attend! HAPPY MISSIONARIES.
Speaking of happy missionaries and recent converts...We met with
Carleen on Saturday, wow. I am amazed by her strength. She is thriving
in the gospel and is so happy with the peace that she feels and the
light she has been able to find. She is on fire and has such a strong
desire to do what is right. We have the amazing opportunity to go with
her to the temple to do baptisms on Friday!! (:

We have been working with a less active member from Atlanta, Georgia!
He grew up in the church but fell away when he was 16. He has been
through it all.....he just got out of jail about a month ago and
decided he wanted to turn his life around. So, he has turned back to
his "roots" and has been attending church the past few weeks. Through
helping him, I have come to gain such a stronger testimony of the
atonement.. And how it allows us to come closer to Jesus Christ and be
forgiven, despite our mistakes. What a powerful message. It is
wonderful to see the light of Christ work in the lives of those
seeking for peace. He comes from a very active family, and I know that
him turning to god To seek to change his life is an answer to their

This week I've been studying and reflecting a lot about desire. I
found a quote that I love by Dallin Oaks. “Therefore, what we
insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and
what we will receive in eternity.” I LOVE THAT. The next good quote
is, "Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities
shape our choices, and choices determine our actions." And at the end
of the day what it really comes down to is our choices. "Decisions
determine destiny". Small and simple things! I am grateful for this
gospel, I know it is true. I am so grateful for the many blessings in
each and every day. I love you all. Thank you for your support!! Have
a great week!

Sister Rachel Parke

Simple joys found in this week:
-Living 0.1 miles away from the beach!
-morning runs
-milk chocolate
-Oh my lanta. Sister Webber and I made fresh salsa this week. So.
Good. I am definitely going to miss having veggies from the garden!!

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