Monday, August 29, 2016

Obtaining Light

Hello Everyone!

This week has probably been the most stressful week of my life!
White-washing an area and training... Well pre-training a missionary
has been pretty crazy. However, I have been able to feel the Lords
hand guiding me along each and every day. My new companion is an
absolute miracle! Her name is sister Quezada and she is the sweetest
girl! I already have so much LOVE for her. It has been confirmed many
times that we are supposed to be together and that she is supposed to
be here at this time. At the end of our first night together we just
both broke down into tears for how grateful we were to be together and
what a blessing it is to be able to serve with one another. We had a
lesson with one of our investigators Josephina our first day together
and it was powerful! The spirit was so strong. Josephina has many many
trials in her life but has more faith than anyone I know. She has been
reading from the Book of Mormon and says she feels closer to God when
she reads it. She says she wants the same "spirit" in her life as the
spirit we bring. Josephina is so sweet, she calls us her Angels. I
love her so much!

Another cool thing that happened this week... Elder Grow from the
quorum of the seventy came and visited our mission and we got to meet
with him and ask questions. I learned so much from him, he taught all
about what it means to teach repentance and baptize converts. Just the
upliftment that I needed especially because I've been praying to know
how to go about helping this area... and ward. Talking to him gave me
lots of ideas and comfort in knowing that this is truly the lords

Sister Quezada has been doing so well! She is conquering her fears.
She is very shy and is scared to talk to people.. But she doesn't let
that stop her! Friday night we had some time to fill, and I asked her
if she felt any promptings of what we should do. I started naming off
some people we could go see.. And she interrupted and said "...I
really don't want to... But my heart is pounding and I feel like we
need to go finding and I need to face my fear." So we went finding...
And guess what? She DID IT! I was so proud of her! She contacted six
people that night!! Seeing her share her testimony is such a sweet
experience. Since she is only a recent convert of a year it is so dear
and precious to her. It is a very special experience to help  her
understand the gospel on a deeper level. I know.. And she knows...
That God knows exactly why she was supposed to come on this "mini
mission" at this time. I already feel so much love for her and I know
Heavenly Father has placed her here for the many people of this ward.

Hmmm.. What else? We have been working like crazy to get to know the
area, the members... The less actives... And our investigators. It's a
wee bit stressful because we don't have a ward mission leader
currently... But don't you worry, we are working on reactivating him.
(; We are working on establishing relationships and trust with the
members, because unfortunately the missionaries that have been in this
area in the past have lost a lot of respect and trust. This week we
are also going to be doing a lot and a lot of finding, because our
teaching pool has dissipated. Which means knocking on doors in his
area. please pray that hearts will be prepared and the lord will lead
us to those who are ready!

These past few weeks have been very humbling for me. Being thrown into
a brand new area, without a companion has in no way been easy... But I
am learning a lot about myself and my relationship with God. I was
studying in Ether, and the story of the brother of Jared really had an
impact on my perspective with this new challenging area. In ether
chapter 2, Jared and his brother and their families and friends set
out on their journey to a promised land.. They "go forth into the
wilderness" and follow the instructions of the Lord on where they
should travel... "Being directed continually by the hand of the lord."
In verse 16, the lord commands them to "go to work" according to the
instructions and he builds the barges. Well, brother of Jared gets
done building the barges and he is thinking... Wait a minute.. How are
we going to breathe?? So he cries to the lord and asks for his help
and guidance. So the Lord tells him how to allow air into the barges.
Everything was great until brother of Jared realized that the barges
were dark. So, what does he do? He cries to the lord again, but this
time... God doesn't tell him what to do he takes a step back and tests
the faith of his child. He asks the brother of Jared "what will ye
that I should do that ye may have light in your vessel?" In a way he
is saying, brother of Jared, I have lead you to where you are now, I
have taught you, and blessed you, and YOU KNOW I am going to lead you
across the sea... Now I am leaving it up to you to figure out how to
get light into the barges. So brother of Jared goes and ponders on
this for a while... And with his incredible faith he takes 16 stones
and has the lord touch each one that they may bring forth light.

Okay so the reason for the incredibly long story is because the spirit
hit me so strong as I was reading over this chapter. The lord has lead
me all along my mission... He has taught me to "build my barge" and to
do the things to strengthen and prepare me for my journey... Not
saying that it has all been easy up until this point.. Because I've
had to work hard. But something has been so different about this
area... It is almost has if God has commanded me to labor in this area
but hasn't given me any specific direction on how to go about doing
so. I have plead with the lord and prayed for help for him to "tell me
what to do." Well, according to D&C 58:26 "it is not meet that the
lord should command in all things."  Obtaining direction and light in
"my barge" is becoming a precious growing experience for me. The lord
has given me so many resources to help this area, and he is there
willing to help, but he is waiting for me to figure it out so that he
may "touch the stones" and consecrate my efforts. Heavenly Father sure
knows what he is doing. Not commanding in all things and allowing his
children to exercise their faith... Which often causes some trial of
faith (struggle) but it is necessary in order to grow. It is almost as
if he says, "I have given you the talents and resources; and I have
taught you up to this point.. Let's see how you do with it."
That being said. I am praying and I am working so that I may bring
forth my stones to the lord and have him touch them.. So that my
efforts when combined with the help of the lord may bring light unto
the people in this ward. I know this is his work. I am so grateful for
the opportunity that I have to be a part of it, and for all that he is
teaching me each and every day. I love my Heavenly Father and my
savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support! They are most
definitely felt!  Please help the missionaries around you! THEY NEED
IT. Have a great week!

Sister Parke
Free Grocery Donation by a generous angel! Thank you!

Sister Quezada

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