Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 16 – March 2, 2015

Alright let’s see what I can fill you in on this last week…

Last Monday, the 23rd, for P-Day I was kind enough to take my sweet new companion over to the Hicken’s place. The elders go there every Monday to play basketball… since they have an indoor basketball court and all. Since that does absolutely nothing for me it’s never really been a big deal to go over there on P-Days, but Sister Parke’s favorite thing in the whole wide world is basketball so I figured it was only fair to bring her over there to play with the guys (while I hung out on the couch of course) ;) Now listen to this, there were four guys there by the time we got there and Sister Parke beat them ALL! Yep that’s my companion! What can I say, she’s pretty darn cool!!! It was good for the guys—they could use a little humbling ;)

That night we went over to see Tobey and Erica where we taught them the plan of salvation. It was a great lesson. Tobey had lots of questions as usual which we always like to be able to help answer. They have been out of town the last few weekends so they haven’t been able to get to church, but I think Tobey will really enjoy being able to go to Sunday school and learn more about the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, February 24th, however I did get my heart rate up, but NO I was NOT exercising! I was stuck driving through the middle of downtown Minneapolis during rush hour traffic! I had NO clue where I was going and the sun was setting and blaring into my eyes which was practically blinding me. Sister Parke and I were blessed with about 17 different miracles from God that somehow got us through that crazy city! Honestly, it was nothing less than miracles that helped us get home that night! All I could do was simply steer the car while Sister Parke watched the GPS and tried to guide me where to go. I was having to constantly change lanes like crazy and I really couldn't see anything so she had to be my eyes half of the time as well. There was about 30 minutes of intense stress. I don’t know how we managed to get through all of that without getting into some form of an accident! God and His angels were protecting our car that is for sure! Let me tell you, we were both so happy when we were finally out of there and back to our neck of the woods. The entire time I was having to fight my way through that insane traffic I kept telling myself, "I am SO a country girl." Where the heck are my gravel roads?!

After getting back from Minneapolis, we went to have dinner with some of Steve and Keri Nelson’s friends. They were over the other night for dinner so we had the chance to meet them and they started asking us about missions and the church. A couple days later they invited us over for dinner and while we were there we were able to teach them more about what we believe and explained things they didn’t understand. They were so intrigued about the history of the Book of Mormon. It was neat to see how they just wanted to learn more because it was something new and exciting for them. Steve invited them to come to church on March 22nd when his daughter Kelly will be speaking because she will be getting home from her mission and they said they would love to come so that’s awesome! Hopefully, we will be able to meet with them some more!

Wednesday, we had our weekly district meeting and lunch at Taco Bell. I have to say we have a pretty solid district right now. Elder Hughs is our district leader and he is doing a great job! We all get along really well and have a good time together. I’m excited to learn from this district!

This last Thursday, the 26th, we had a lesson with Aimee. She had more questions for us about the Church and what was and wasn’t ok. We were able to answer those questions and put her at ease. It always amazes me the things people hear and believe about our faith that are so off and not true. I’m always happy when we are able to set things right and explain to others what we believe and how we live. Aimee has been so open with us about some of the struggles she has been faced with lately. Today she asked us what we are currently struggling with. It was neat to see her want us to be vulnerable with her. I was able to explain how coming on a mission was NOT my will, but that it was Heavenly Father’s will for me and that lately I have been trying to figure out WHY Heavenly Father wants me out here when it’s not necessarily what I want. I told her about how I came to know God wanted me to serve a mission. The spirit was really strong and when I was done talking she just looked at me and said, “You’re HERE for ME!” She went on to explain how she needed someone who was a little older who had some life experiences behind them that she could connect with and open up with. I know we were there to visit Aimee that morning, but what she said, was exactly what I needed to hear! It was a small tender mercy from Heavenly Father letting me know I was in the right place at the right time.

That afternoon, we went over to Sister Erlendsson’s to do a little service for her and we were lucky enough to wash out all of Buddy (her cat’s) dishes ;) Sister Parke only had to hold her breath for a few minutes ;) No, it really wasn’t too bad, we were just happy to get to be around our favorite Sister Erlendsson! If I could take one person home with me from my mission it would be Sister Erlendsson- hands down!!! I just love that little lady!

For dinner tonight, Sister Petersen made her famous home-made chili and corn bread. Oh man— it’s like having just a little bit of Heaven in your mouth ;) Then afterword, we went to visit Rahel and her two daughters Heaven and Coco with Mercy and Blessing. It was the first time we brought Mercy over with us and oh my goodness she and Rahel became instant best friends! And the girls all fell in love with each other too—it was awesome! We had a great little lesson. We have been working with the girls to teach them how to pray, but tonight we want Rahel to have a chance to pray. We gave her the little pamphlet and showed her the outline that was written out on “HOW” to pray. When Rahel went to pray she simply read the section on “HOW” to pray word for word ending with Amen. I love being able to teach people who are learning from the VERY beginning. This up coming week we are going to spend more time on prayers and hopefully Rahel will be able to grasp the idea of how we pray, who we pray to, and why we pray. I’m really excited! She is so humble and loves being able to feel the spirit when we are in her home. She has expressed that she wants to be baptized. She works on Sunday mornings so we are going to try and get her work schedule to work around church so she can start coming hopefully soon! I know Rahel and her girls will just LOVE coming to church!

Friday, Sister Parke had to make lots of phone calls because she is a Sister Training Leader (which means she is just over a couple different companionships of sisters). While she was on the phone I had Sister Cupkie come over to the house to talk with me. She was the lady who did that awesome mission training on body language. Sister Cupkie ended up talking with me for almost three hours. She is always working with the missionaries! They just all love her so I figured I should probably get to know her a little better ;)

That evening, Sister Parke and I went to the mall to meet up with Melanie (Andrew and Lisa’s friend) for dinner. I figured while she was here visiting, I might as well take advantage of that and get to know her a little better and talk to her about my family. It was fun to be able to sit down and talk with her about my family. It was weird because we didn’t really know each other, but she knew Andrew and Lisa so well that I felt like we kinda did know each other.

After, we went to see Brother Dam with Sister Spurlin. And then we went over to the Ashford’s and they had Jennifer over. We talked about family history work and why it is so important. Jennifer LOVES doing genealogy and Sister Ashford does that for work so they instantly hit it off! We were able to then explain how we do temple work for our family members who have already passed on. Talking about all of this family history got me excited about it and made me what to learn more about my family! I challenge ALL of you to spend some time this week to do some genealogy work or to talk to a family member and have them share some stories with you about their childhood, or even about their parents or grandparents. Now is the time to record these memories—before they are lost!

Saturday, February 28th, we went to visit Carmon. Carmon is this dear sweet old lady in our ward who is from Peru and ONLY speaks Spanish. She had fallen last week and is now in a nursing home. She was so excited to see us when we came into her room. Both Sister Parke and I don’t speak any Spanish so no one really knew what was being said, but we probably stayed their talking for a good 20 minutes. Sister Parke was sweet enough to try reading the BOM in Spanish. Carmon was able to follow enough apparently because at one point she broke down in tears and just started sobbing. We just held her hand and let her cry while I assume she bore her testimony and explained how she was sad that her family wasn’t coming to visit her. I’m so thankful we were able to come and say hi. I know there are others in the ward that have also been stopping in as well. I love the charity I see in this ward. So many are constantly reaching out to others—it truly is a beautiful thing to watch!

That night we stopped by Tanneh and Josh’s for a lesson and you will be happy to know that they are still going strong! I’m so proud of those two! Satan has sure been trying to pull them down, but they are fighting back full force with the power of God. They are still planning on getting baptized March 14th which is so exciting!!!

Yesterday was the first of March and I can’t even believe it! Where the heck did the last couple of months go?! Today was fast Sunday, and once again Sister Musser came to the rescue and saved the day! No one had signed up to feed us dinner so she told us to come by her house and she would make sure we would have dinner. When we got over to their place she and Brother Musser just LOADED us up!!! We walked out of there with our arms FULL of food! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy we were! After fasting all day, she had just made all of our dreams come true! And then to top it off, Sister Kiamondo made us a HUGE African dish and Sister Mercedes made us a berry syrup from South America. Not sure how we managed it, but we somehow hit the jackpot today! Just another tender mercy from Heavenly Father! When we were finally able to dig in and eat I’m not sure our stomachs could have gotten any happier!

Sister Parke and Sister Larson’s transfer goal: FIVE BAPTISMS!!! I say BRING IT ON!!!

Yeah this is how we roll ;)

**There was suppose to be two other pictures, but Jes.... Sister Larson didn't get them attached. So here are the captions:

Downtown Minneapolis.
Crazy drive.

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