Monday, August 1, 2016

Too blessed to be stressed!

Hello everyone!

What a great week it has been! Soaking up the sunshine and teaching
people about the gospel! Sister Webber and I have been working hard
and the lord continues to bless us as we faithfully serve him. I'll
just jump right into the week!

Tuesday was incredible and full of so many miracles. Cool experience.
So our appointment fell through so we decided we would call some pnis
to try and set up some appointments. We were walkin down the street
and passed a man sitting on the side of the road. Not thinkin too much
about it... We kept walking. The spirit prompted us to go back and to
talk to the man. We introduced ourselves as missionaries and we sat
down and taught him the restoration right then and there! It was SO
awesome. The spirit was so strong. He is going through a very rough
spot in his life right now. His wife just left him with the kids so he
flew to Chicago to try and visit his children.. His bag got stolen and
he is out of work.. So now he is forced to live out of shelters. It is
the saddest story! But I know God is aware of him and this is his
opportunity to humble himself, and turn to The lord and ask for help.
His life seems like it is at ruins, but I know God can fix all broken
things. It made me think of the talk by dieter f uchtdorf, "tomorrow
the lord will do wonders among you".  I invite all of you to read it.

This is Gods work. He is so Innately aware of each of his children.
Sister Webber and I had a very cool experience tonight. It was 8:45 at
night and we had about 15 min left in our day. We were super tired
because it had been a long hot day and were tempted to call it a
night. We prayed and told God that we had time to contact one more
person and asked him to lead us to where he would have us be. We
rounded the corner to our apartment and found and old woman standing
at the bus stop looking confused. We started talking with her..  She
just moved from Korea... In her broken English she explained she was
trying to go south.. But no bus was coming. We looked up the times for
the bus, and it said "no arrival times". (What?! When does that ever
happen? NEVER.) so we were tryin to help her out.. And she recognized
our name tags. "You.. Mormon?" She then simply explained to us how her
sister was a Mormon and attended BYU many many years ago. She was up
north visiting her sister for the day. We asked her were her sister
lived and she said right across the street... From our apartment! So
we started taking down information when her sister walked up right
then!! She recognized us as missionaries and was SO happy!! She
explained that she had a Book of Mormon and it brought her so much
happiness and that she wants to come back to church. She explained how
she found the missionaries in Korea and then moved out to Utah. It was
one of the coolest experiences. God knows each of his children
individually. What a humbling experience to be a part of this sacred
work. Sister Webber and I learned a few things that night. 1. We
witness miracles when we are obedient. 2. Even when you feel like
giving up, keep going! 3. This is without a doubt the work of the
Lord. 4. Tender mercies of the Lord are real.

So another cool miracle moment. Flashback to about three months ago we
contacted a man named Robert on the bus. Turns out he had just been
baptized a year ago but stopped coming to church. Anyways, when we
talked to him then he wasn't too interested in coming back to church,
we gave him our number.. Didn't think too much about it. Then this
week we get a call... And it was Robert!! He said he was going through
a rough time and wanted to start getting back into church. We met with
him on Friday... Guess what? He is eligible for the SA branch!
#miracle. Anyways it was super awesome.

We also got to meet with Carleen this week for the first time in
forever! She has been so busy with work! It was great to catch up with
her... We have really been helping her with knowing how to share the
gospel with her family and friends. It brings so much happiness when
we share the gospel with those we love!

We had an incredible day on Saturday. It's always a wonderful thing
when 3 out of your four appointments don't fall through!  We had our
first appointment with a man that we contacted this week named
Mehemed. He is from Uzbekistan... Pretty cool huh? Chicago is the
biggest melting pot and has people from ALL over the world. Sometimes
I don't even feel like I am in America! Ha! But anyways.. The lesson
went well! He is open to learning more, however he has a hang up on
modern day prophets. So we are going to keep in touch and help him
understand the Book of Mormon better.

Oh another crazy miracle. We were downtown Saturday evening for an
appointment.. Tons and tons and tons of people because it was
lalapoluza? Yeah. Don't ask. Some major concert here in Chicago at
millennium park... Anyways soooooo many people. So we were takin some
alternative routes to try and make it to the bus to get back home. We
unexpectedly ran into the less active member Steve who we had been
working with about a month ago! we had lost connection with him
because he got a new phone. Buuuut he said that he wanted to come to
church next Sunday! Yay! Sunday was full of tender mercies! Sonny and
Michael came to church! It was great! We had an awesome lesson with
Sonny this week and are helping him progress towards baptism. We also
had a great lesson with Michael and talked to him a lot about Fasting.
He has been praying and reading from the Book of Mormon and has
committed to fast next Sunday to seek an answer. He is one of the most
spiritual people I have ever met. The members in this ward are so
INCREDIBLE. Annette brought her friend Elizabeth to church on
Sunday... Which was great! We connected with her very well .., and
then we had another member bring a friend who moved here from
Wales--he has the cooooooolest accent. #referrals. Man, I never want
to leave this ward!! I LOVE it with all of my heart.

Jess is doing sooooo good. She got a calling and her temple recommend.
Sadly the temple is closed until September... But she is getting
started on her family history to take names to the temple! So so happy
for her. Cool story. So randomly out of the blue her landlord called
her and told her that she couldn't renew her lease and would have to
move out of her apartment. Jess was heartbroken! This is the cool
part, so she was looking for new apartments and found one that is only
a mile away from us and the difference in rent is EXACTLY what she
needs to pay for tithing every month. Coincidence? absolutely NOT.

I have been reading the book "our search for happiness" by Elder M.
Russell Ballard. I love the simple restored truths of the gospel. I
feel so blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel in my life. How
often we take it for granted!! I am grateful for the love of the
Savior for all men! I cherish every moment I have to help others feel
of this love. Thank you for all of your support, love, and prayers! I
hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Rachel Parke

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