Monday, July 11, 2016

New MISSION President

Hello Family and Friends.

Ahhh. Things are going great here in Chicago!. Very hot! But we are
surviving, drinking lots of water and eating lots of watermelon. Haha
sister Webber and I ate a WHOLE watermelon in one day. Yes it was
quite the accomplishment. Sister Webber is awesome, she pretty much is
"my sister!" Haha we have so many good times together she is always
makin me laugh! What a week it has been! I'll just jump right in.
On Tuesday morning we had interviews with president. My interview with
president was very inspiring. I just received such a strong spiritual
witness that president Bingham is without a doubt here for a reason.
At first I was a bit worried that I wouldn't connect with him as well
as president Woodbury, but after this interview with him I feel sooo
much better. It was the coolest experience sitting there talking with
him I just had the strongest impression that I knew him before. We sat
and talked for a loooong while about the direction of the mission and
where it is headed. Missionary work is so exciting when you "catch the
vision!" I am so excited for the lord to lead this mission to what he
needs it to become! This week we also had mission council, it was very
powerful. President Bingham was a seminary and institute teacher
before he came out to serve a mission and he is an incredible teacher.
He has such a fire for hastening the work and I know that through the
lords help he will lead and guide this mission to grow and we will
find more success in bringing others closer to Christ.
In my interview with President Bingham, he told me an analogy that a
very wealthy successful man he once knew told him. It was all about
how to work smarter, not harder. Sister Webber and I have been
pondering and discussing how as a mission we can "work smarter, not
harder." We had the opportunity to teach in mission council and led a
discussion about the direction of the mission and seeking revelation
to know how God would have us best fulfill his work here in Chicago.
This week we received a phone call from a less active who had the
desire to get back into church and turn his life around. It literally
was a miracle! We called one of our members and had him come with us.
It was very powerful to see his desire to change and to be able to
testify of the atonement. It was both and answer to his prayer and
also our prayers. God is so good! He is ready to recommit!
We had two awesome first lessons with our new investigators Marques
and Sunny. We met them both at separate times last week and introduced
them to the Book of Mormon, and they wanted to learn more! It was
powerful. They have both been so prepared! Unfortunately Marques lives
out of our area, so we have to refer him.. But I am very excited for
him, he definitely needs the gospel in his life. Sunny, on the other
hand is eligible to join the SA branch. He has really enjoyed learning
about the Book of Mormon . He said he would read it and ask God if it
were true! He seems to be in a great place in his life to except the
This week we did a lot of Contacting a lot on the buses, and started
up a great conversation with a old woman from Vietnam. It was so
funny, at the beginning of the conversation she asked where I was
from, I told her I wasn't from Chicago but that I was from Utah and I
am a missionary for the Church. Apparently she didn't quite understand
where I was from, because she responded "you, English very good. you
like America? When you go back to your country?" It was kinda funny.
Sometimes as a missionary here in Chicago I feel like I'm in a
different country!!
We attended a baptism for the ward on Saturday night and Cara was able
to come! It was so great for her to be there and to witness a baptism.
The spirit was so strong. She is progressing well and is already in
Enos In her Book of Mormon reading! She met and talked with president
Bingham at the baptism and said, "I'm tellin all my friends that if
they are going to pick a religion, go with the Mormons." Haha she is
so great, I like her a lot. We also had an awesome lesson with Michael
on Sunday night. We taught him the plan of salvation and told him all
about how his ancestors will have the opportunity to learn about the
gospel and except Jesus Christ. It was a very cool experience to teach
him about Gods plan, and I know it brought him a lot of peace to know
about his family members. He is progressing very well, and has been
reading, studying, and praying about the Book of Mormon! He also
committed to be at church on Sunday!
I have been learning so much this week especially about the importance
of relying on the lord. It is so easy for me to get overwhelmed with
the future and "planning ahead" that I often times forget to enjoy the
now. I become consumed in what is going to happen next--whether it be
later in the afternoon or the next day or next week. I am learning to
look to God for what is needed in each day. Heavenly Father is aware
of the small daily needs of his children and wants to help them one by
one! Always without fail, when I put forth all I can, the lord makes
up the difference. Most of the time it is in those times when I feel
like giving up and quitting because I feel I have given all I possibly
can, the lord always provides the strength and encouragement that I
need. I am learning to be grateful that God allows me to struggle
sometimes because it forces me to come into him daily and ask for
help. He is teaching me how to pray and get answers to prayer. I am
strengthening my faith in God and coming to know my savior. I am
working on being patient with myself and not becoming easily
frustrated. Acknowledging that it is day by day that I am able to move
closer to Christ. I seek the lords help as he reveals the needs and
means for the children he would have me serve. I know the Lord guides
us as we humbly come into him and seek answers and strength.

I hope you all have an amazing week! Thank you for your love and support!

Sister Parke

My Favorite quote this week:
"Wishing will not make it so. The Lord expects our thinking. He
expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies.
He expects our devotion."
-President Monson

1. Italian ice with Jess!
2. Watermelon for days.
3. Authentic el salvadorian dinner with one of our members in the branch!

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