Monday, November 28, 2016


November 28, 2016

Hello Everyone! 

Sorry, not too much time today! So much has happened this week!! I wish I could just tell you all of the miracles we witness each and everyday as missionaries! The gospel is true and the Lords hand is most definitely in this work. I am developing a new sense of urgency to go forth and to share the gospel as my time is growing short as a full time missionary. 

Deborah was able to go to the temple for the first time this week to be baptized for her mother and father. She had an incredible experience and expressed so much Joy. It has been one of the greatest testimony building experiences as I have been able to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ change Deborah's life. As I have seen the light and joy that has come into her life from the knowledge of the restored gospel. My own testimony has grown so much as I have been able to reflect upon the things I know to be true. On Sunday sister Mattinson and I had the opportunity to teach relief society all about how "there shall be no more death". We taught the plan of salvation and testified that Jesus Christ LIVES, and that it is through him that we are able to have eternal life. The knowledge of this gospel is most precious to me and I know and I bear witness that it changes lives. It has changed my life. I am so grateful for and love my Savior Jesus Christ. The reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is incomprehensible. I know that there is a purpose to life, we are all on the path back to make it home to our Heavenly Father to enjoy the blessings of Eternal life. The purpose of this life is to come to know God and Jesus Christ and to one day return home to live with them again. I find so much hope in the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ. It is because of him I WILL forever be reunited forever with those I love... especially my Grandma. 
There are so many of our brothers and sisters who are feeling lost, confused, and hopeless. It is our privilege and responsibility to reach out in love and serve them... help them... and teach them of the truth that brings so much light, love, and peace into our lives. As we follow and emulate Christ's loving example he will lead us to those who are seeking him and we will be blessed in sharing the JOY of the gospel. Especially this Christmas season. So my dear friends and family, let us go forth and LIGHT THE WORLD. There are so many who are in darkness and need the light! 

"An understanding and testimony of the resurrection can give you hope and perspective as you experience the challenges, trials, and triumphs of life." 
True to the faith 

Have a wonderful week... I will see you reeeeaaal soon!! Thank you for all of your love and support!!  


Sister Parke 
My sisters!

Temple day for Deborah :)

Making cookies with some of my favs!


Cooking again on Pday! 

Getting cold again here in Chicago!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Family and Friends! 


This week has been very eventful! Amazing things are happening here in Chicago Heights. Sister Mattinson and I have been working hard to just forget about ourselves and go to work serving others. We have spent a lot of time this week in reaching out to members to serve them and ask for referrals. There was a training for missionaries about how to utilize technology and missionary work. We are very excited to begin implementing these new ideas and we have already seen success from it! I am so grateful for the tools the lord has provided to help hasten this work!

Deborah is doing so good! We had the opportunity to go with her to the family history library with the family history consultant in our ward and search for her family names to take to the temple! She now has the papers ready to go to the temple and do work for her mom and her dad. She was OVERJOYED, and was crying nearly the whole time. She has told me countless times that she has prayed to know how to save her family, and she has now found the way! She met with bishop and got her temple recommend and she will be going with the Johnsons on Tuesday. She is SO EXCITED. I was pretty upset that I can't go because of the new policy change that missionaries can't go to the temple with their recent converts.... but I guess it's just one of those things that even if you don't understand the reasoning behind it you just gotta suck it up and go with it. I am sure she will have a wonderful time with the Johnsons! I can't wait for the day to actually go through the temple with her! I love Deborah so much! She is such a great member missionary! 

We had a lesson with Van this week right after church. Deborah was there and so was our high priest group leader-who has already made great friends with Van!- We had a great discussion about the restoration of the priesthood and how God has once again reached out to his children through prophets and has provided us the Book of Mormon. It was a very powerful lesson as Deborah and Brother Knox were there to help teach and testify to Van that he was on the right path and that the gospel would provide him the peace that he is seeking. It was so wonderful, I know gods hand is in this work! Van is progressing very well and is preparing to be baptized. We talked a lot about conversion and what it truly means to be "converted" and that requires sincerely repenting of sins and turning our life over to the Savior. Having Deborah and Brother Knox there made all the difference in the spirit of the lesson. You could tell that their own testimonies were strengthened from helping to teach Van! Missionary work is THE BEST.  

As missionaries we have coordinated a "movie night" before thanksgiving for members to bring their friends to, and for our investigators to come and to feel the spirit. We will be watching "Ephriams Rescue", I know it will be powerful and will help remind us what to be grateful for! Van is planning on coming and is going to invite his friend to join with him! 

We are really having a hard time getting investigators to "stick". Nic and Chelsea never got back to us. It makes me so sad when I know they have felt to spirit yet they choose not to accept it. The agency of others can often times be frustrating... but we can't let it make us become discouraged! Discouragement weakens faith! So sister Mattinson are continuing to work hard and doing our best at being exactly obedient and the lord always provides miracles.  

I have been reflecting this week upon the things I am grateful for. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers every prayer. I am grateful for the knowledge of knowing my divine potential that I am a daughter of God and that through the gospel of Jesus Christ I can return to live with my Heavenly Father once again. I am thankful for the LOVE I feel each and everyday from the Lord and also from the people I serve. I have found so much Joy and happiness in sharing the gospel with others. I am grateful for the opportunity to repent, and for heavenly fathers patience with me. I am thankful for my savior Jesus Christ and that the ability to change is made possible through him. I am grateful for the peace that I feel and for the light that the gospel brings. This gospel has changed my life and it is a privilege to be a witness of it changing others. 

Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING eat lots of Turkey! Thank you for your love and support!!! 


Sister Parke 
Exchange with Sister Sufia!

We are practically doctors... -spiritual doctors- 😂

Family History work with Deborah!

#photocred awesome senior missionaries.

Discussion with Van and Deborah

Van. Brother Knox. And Deborah. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Eternal Truth

Hello Everyone! 

This week we had zone training and focused upon the desires of our hearts. A quote that president shared really stood out to me... "When the spirit confirms eternal truth there is ALWAYS something to be done about it." President Bingham talked about the importance of being task based rather than focused on the objective. This really stood out to me because I definitely am the type of person to become easily overwhelmed when only focusing on the desired outcome. But as with everything in life, it is the small and simple CONSISTENT efforts over time that eventually reach the objective. As missionaries we are always setting goals, it can be quite discouraging at times... However, the key to successful missionary work is diligence! When you persevere even when it gets rough. Goals are a desired outcome... Not an immediate result. I am continuing to learn the importance of hard work, patience, and determination when striving to reach a goal. Never give up!! 

On Tuesday we had the goal to get three new investigators. It was quite a bit of a stretch.. But we knew with the help of the lord we could do it. It was about 7:45 at night at we still didn't have any success. It had been a long evening of finding and we desperately wanted to reach our goals. We prayed and both felt prompted to contact a referral we received. We found a family to teach! Such a cool story about how the Lord is preparing people to find the restored gospel. They felt impressed to travel to SLC to spend a little vacation there last week. Get this, the DAY after they got home we came to their home! Nick and Chelsea told us about their amazing experience at Temple Square. They said that they met a man near temple Square who encouraged them to take a tour and something just felt right. So the sister missionaries in SLC took them for a tour. They loved the Temple and how they could learn more about where they came from and what their purpose is. They especially loved the Temple Sealing room. They thought it was so beautiful that they could be together forever. Chelsea asked, can we prepare ourselves to go inside? They were both so open about learning and listening to everything we to say. We introduced them to the Book of Mormon and they were very eager to read it. Nick and Chelsea have been so prepared by the Lord. It is a very humbling experience to teach his children and help them come to the truth. The spirit was very strong, I am looking forward to having the opportunity to help them come closer to Heavenly Father through repentance and baptism! 

This week we had a great lesson with Van. He is progressing very well. We taught him the restoration and how to pray with real intent and receiving answers to prayers. He is still trying to understand that even though he prayed for his wife to get better.. why God allowed her to die. The spirit was so powerful as we were able to testify that he would get to see his wife again. Near the end of the lesson he said that he knew this was the path he needed to take wants to be baptized! We pulled out the calendar and had him choose a date to be baptized. He chose December 17th!! The Lord is eversosaware of him, especially in this hard time in his life. He came to church on Sunday and said that he wanted to "bear his testimony". He is reading from the Book of Mormon! I am so happy for Van. Please pray for him as he prepares for baptism! 

I was thinking about how we need to teach repentance more as missionaries. Another thing that came to my mind as I was studying this week is the IMPORTANCE of helping my investigators to receive a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. Reflecting back to the people I have taught on my mission... The most amazing converts I have witnessed are the ones who have an unwavering faith about the Book of Mormon. When they gain this witness and testimony they will recognize that the gospel has been restored, and will have a STRONG desire to repent and be baptized. I have seen the pattern over and over on my mission. The Book of Mormon is the KEY, I feel that I could be using it better as I teach. Those who know Christ--many here in Chicago do-- if they will read the Book of Mormon.. They will know that it is what they are searching for. Deborah has come out many times with us.. And she is a spiritual powerhouse. She is as DILIGENT as ever.. She does not stop talking to someone about the gospel until she has helped them understand truly what the Book of Mormon is and how it can bless their lives. One woman we contacted with her this week was not at all interested in the church or Book of Mormon at first, but then, when Deborah started asking her questions.. And relating it to her life.. This woman started to open up... She then realized this was the answer to her many prayers and she has been searching for truth. We exchanged information, turns out she lives nearby Deborah- and we gave her a Book of Mormon... She GENUINELY was interested and is going to read it. EVERYONE wants and needs what the Book of Mormon has to offer!! We just have to "open the box" and not give up so easily when people may not understand. That is were we need to seek the spirit to know how to introduce the gospel to each of gods children. There are SO MANY people who are desiring to know the truth.. They are questioning the religion they are currently in... They just don't know about the Book of Mormon and why they need it!... How great is the responsibility that we have as members and missionaries to share it with them! I know that as we as members and missionaries prayerfully seek those whose hearts are being prepared we will find them.

Sister Mattinson and I have been working very hard this week. Most of our appointments fell through... but we have been applying the three day planning which is helping quite a bit. We are working hard and striving to be obedient and the Lord is blessing us with miracles. I am so grateful to the Lord and for all of his many blessings. His hand is in this work and in each of our lives. I am so grateful for all that you do! I really do appreciate all of your love, support, and sacrifice!  Isn't it crazy how once we feel like we begin to know what we are doing, the lord changes it up on us? The life is a continual learning process. I am grateful for all my Heavenly Father is teaching me. I am happy knowing I am doing the will of the Lord. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you for your love and support! 

Sister Parke

Sorry I am terrible at remembering to take pictures. 
Dinner in tonight! 

I love homemade soup!

Monday, November 7, 2016


Hello Family and Friends!

CHICAGO CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES. Just if you didn't know. Kind of a
big deal here in Chicago! 👏🏻🎉 first time in over a hundred years!
First week of last transfer flew by. I am soaking up the warm weather
and loving every minute perfect finding weather! Which is what we have
been doing a lot of this week. A lot a lot of finding. Finding through
members.. Finding at stores.. Knocking on doors.. Pretty much finding.
We talked to a lot of people and witnessed a lot of moments of "being
at the right place at the right time."

On Sunday we met with the bishop trying to figure out new area
boundaries. Elder Rowe and Elder Cabrera make an AWESOME
companionship! They are definitely an "A team" I am looking forward to
working with them. Our ward mission leader is incredible and is so on
top of things. We are working closely with our ward leaders and have
gained great relationships and trust with them. We are working
together in unity with the elders, senior missionaries, and ward
council to go out and find the lost sheep! It is a process but we are
finally starting to see some of the fruit!

I am so grateful for sister Mattinson and for her love and patience
with me. I have grown to love and appreciate her hard work and
diligence. She is such a good example to me. We are working hard.. It
can be discouraging at times because people have their agency. For
example.. Practically all of our appointments fell through this week.
But we make the most of it and God places miracles in our path! We had
an investigator come to church this week! His name is Van, we found
him when we were out tracting. His wife suddenly passed away of cancer
in July. He has been very lonely and has been looking to get back into
church. Lo and behold the missionaries come across him! God has so
many children who are prepared and need the gospel! At church on
Sunday, one of the members asked him if he was investigating the
church. He said, "I'm going to join this church!" We have a lesson
with him this week and we are going to invite him to be baptized for
"white Christmas!" I am very excited.

It has been really neat experience reflecting on the person I have
become on my mission. I cannot begin to count all of the many things
the Lord has taught me out here. If I had to narrow it down to a
specific few, I would have to say that it has been a strong burning
testimony that I KNOW THIS GOSPEL IS TRUE. I have had the privilege of
serving the Lord and as I have done so my testimony has been
strengthened. Coming out on this mission was a hard decision for me,
but it was easily the best decision I could have ever made. I thank
the Lord every day for the opportunity to take this time to serve him,
to give him all that I am.. And to have him shape and mold me into the
person he needs me to become. I have learned what it means to place
all my trust in the Lord.

Thank you for your love and support! Happy November!! Have a great week!!

Sister Parke

My life.

Pday on Halloween..couldn't go out so we stayed in....

and made Sugar Cookies!! yay!