Monday, October 24, 2016


Hello Everybody!

Things are going well here in the heights! The time is passing by so
quickly and the weeks are turning into days it feels like! Missionary
work is fun! So many miracles this week! We found a family to teach!
We are very excited! They are the sweetest people on earth, they are
from Africa and have the most adorable children! On Friday we were
able to go and teach them the restoration! It was so cool to be
teaching a family! It's been awhile since I have been serving in a YSA
ward. They were very receptive to the message and want to come to
church! The father told us that he and a question that his little girl
asked him, "where do we go after we die?" He said that it stumbled him
because he knew we go to heaven... But what does that mean? Will we be
with our families? Who will be there? It was such a powerful
experience as we were able to teach and testify that FAMILIES ARE
FOREVER and that there is life after death and we will be able to be
reunited with those we love. The little girl had the biggest smile
beaming across her face. I know that the Akinola family will one day
join the church! They are planning on attending the Halloween party
for the ward so we are looking forward to that.
Another miracle this week, a less active in our ward was up visiting
the city and missionaries contacted him. He said he may be interested
in getting back into church so he gave them his contact information.
Long story short, we got his info and tried calling him. Turns out he
just showed up to church randomly and wants to change his life around
and take the missionary lessons! We had our first lesson with him this
week. It was a really neat experience. We taught him all about the
atonement and repentance, the spirit was definitely there and was
powerful. I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to
testify and promise blessings! There is no greater feeling!

Saturday was Deborah's baptism!! What a very special day. One of the
most memorable experiences of my mission. Everything was perfect...
Her family was there..the whole ward came and was so supportive. I
accompanied a woman in the ward as she sang a beautiful arrangement of
"I know that my redeemer lives." The spirit was so strong... Everyone
in the room was crying! (Including bishop) Deborah bore her
testimony... - hearing someone you have taught the gospel bear their
testimony is one of the greatest experiences one can have in this
life!- it was so incredibly powerful, so pure and genuine. Deborah
will be very influential in bringing many to the church. She already
has been sharing the gospel with everyone around her. Heavenly Father
has a work for her to do! I love Deborah and have learned so much from
her. The faith that she has amazes me... It was quite the journey. I
consider Deborah one of the biggest miracles on my mission. Teaching
her about the restored gospel has been such a sweet experience. I am
thankful for the opportunity to be a missionary here in Chicago
heights ward. The perspective of missionary work of the ward members
is COMPLETELY CHANGING. Members are getting excited about this work
and are feeling the joy that comes from bringing others into the
gospel. Deborah was so perfect for this ward because she is a friend
with EVERYONE. The ward is kinda like one big family! It is crazy to
me how different the wards can be. I really love Chicago Heights
ward... The best way to describe it... Is like family! We truly are
all brothers and sisters of God. When we remember that.. It makes
sharing the gospel so much easier.. But also so much more fun!

Often times it is easy to get caught up in the day to day routine of
missionary work... But missionaries who have that sense of urgency..
That love of God and for his children develop a passion for this work.
I'm so far from perfect, But I know there have been times on my
mission where I feel that intense joy and I just want to SHARE with
everyone! I experienced that joy this week at Deborah's baptism.
Missionary work is hard, and I'm not going to pretend that I have that
intense desire to share the gospel all day everyday. However, I know
that this gospel is true, and the joy and the happiness that comes to
those who are PREPARED to receive this gospel in indescribable. Our
goal is to find someone to teach and baptize before the end of next
transfer. It is possible. The Lord has children who are just WAITING
to receive the gospel..  We are the spiritual hunters! ... “and after
will I [the Lord] send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from
every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the
rocks” (Jer 16:16). This week we are going hunting.. Each and
everyday! We are going to FIND those who are prepared!!

Have a great week! Thanks for your love and support!

Sister Parke

Deborah's Baptism Day with her family!

Such a special day! I love Deborah!

Fall is definitely here and always enjoy an nice hot pizza in Chicago!

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