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!

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