Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hola familia y amigos

First things first, I am pretty sure I get my travel plans at the end of this week. I seriously feel like I got here yesterday. But I am really excited to put everything I have learned to work!

This week has been amazing. HARD, but amazing. Again, I am so thankful for all the tender mercies of the Lord. Last night I was able to have dinner with Elder Macdonald because we both sang in the choir for the devotional. That was awesome to sit with him for a while- finally!

Last night at our devotional, we had Elder Ballard come. I was in the choir with my companion and when he walked into the room the spirit testified that he truly was an apostle of the Lord. The spirit was so strong the entire meeting and at our district meeting afterwards we were all still just in awe at the words that were spoken. He talked a lot about how this is the BUSIEST time for the church and definitely for the MTC. (It is crazy to see how relief society on Sundays has quadrupled since arriving here at the MTC). He was saying how we are miracles. It is a miracle that we have decided to give up this time because we love and want to serve our Lord. There was one part that I love and it was when he talked about how important it is for the world to know what we know right now. We need to share the things that we have learned in primary because it is only the gospel that brings true joy and happiness in our lives. The world desperately needs our message and that is why this work is surging right now. Its great! He was so motivating. He was saying how this generation is blazing the trails with this new age change. He continued saying that that is a burden to be awesome missionaries. We are the beginning of something marvelous!

I am so grateful for the teachings of the Savior in the bible. If you have time, go watch some of the bible videos on youtube on the mormonchannel. They are really well done. On p-days, we love the time we have to relax and watch all the mormon messages and bible stories. The new "Mountains to Climb" mormon message is awesome too.

It seems like a common theme with all the devotionals this week is that the Lord wants you all! He is expecting all that we have because we are the elite group. Three things that I have learned this week to be true is that in order to be a great missionary, you must 1. Love your companion- always, 2. Be exactly obedient- trying and improvements are key, and 3. Qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost- it is the job of the Holy Ghost to confirm the truths that we are teaching and it is only through the Holy Ghost that we and our investigators are changed.

I have been trying to be better about finding my daily blessings. Sometimes the work gets a little bit crazy here and it is important at the end of the day to truly recognize and find the Lord's hand. That has made all the difference in my attitude here at the MTC. It helps me to really know that the Lord can help weak things become strong. My district was talking about the Book of Mormon this week- about the story of when Alma and his people were enslaved and trapped among their enemies. We focused on how Alma and his people prayed in their hearts because they were enslaved to do such hard and tedious work. This interesting thing in this story is that their burdens were not taken away, but rather that the Lord made their burdens lighter. We then opened our scriptures up to a random verse and it was the verse when Ammon was boasting in the power of his God and being overwhelming grateful for the Savior. I love that part of the Book of Mormon. Being in the MTC, I have truly realized that it is not really me that is doing this work but rather that it truly is the Lord working through me. The key to missionary work is forgetting yourself. When you think of home, get frustrated with your Spanish, get discouraged that this task is too hard, those are all selfish things that get in the way of your relationship with the Holy Ghost and your investigators. Every action and thought must be for your investigators. It is the best to be able to put aside yourself and focus on other people. It is the best work that you can possibly ever do. I want to do this forever.

My love for everyone has grown so much in the MTC because I have felt the Lord's love for me and all his children accelerated here in the MTC. It is that love that carries me through all the challenging times. Elder Ballard last night also said that the best missionaries truly know the power of the atonement and the living Christ. He was saying that when you truly know the message of the restoration that you are sharing, you teach differently, you find differently, and you study differently. My goals have been shifted a little bit to fit this. I think that is such a beautiful promise. That if we KNOW Christ and his ministry, we are going to be different and changed missionaries and just people in general. I love my Savior and I am not only so grateful for the redeeming power of His atonement but also the enabling power of His atonement. It helps me so much when I want to give up because I know that He didn’t give up when he had it so much harder than me. I know that Christ desires to live IN all of us. I am excited to help people realize that and help them learn to rely on the mercy, merits, and grace of Christ.

My investigators are doing really well. I love teaching! This truly is the best. We have this thing called TRC and it is when volunteers come in and we speak Spanish to them for a while and that is really awesome too. I am in love with Spanish. It is the most beautiful language. It also helps me to teach the gospel simply which is such a blessing. The gospel is simple and when we simply state the truths we hold true, the Holy Ghost does testify and sustain the words that we say.

I want to share this quote with you all.  I love it. "If you could only see the vision that I have. I wish I had your bodies to do this work. I would run from house to house telling everyone of the gospel, and after I lost strength to run I would begin to walk, and after I collapsed from walking, I would begin to crawl. And after my knees were so bloody that I could not use them I would use my arms to drag myself, and once my muscle in my body was gone I would begin to yell... oh, only if you could see the vision as I have."

This is the work that God wants me to do. I have been prepared for it all my life.

Also, this is exciting news. I am the Coordinating Sister with my companion. My Branch President just got permission to have 2 Coordinating sisters per zone because of the increasing amount of sisters. This week our zone gets a district that has more Hermanas than Elders. Hermanas are taking over! It is awesome. I get chills every time people talk about the sister missionaries. They seriously all are so great and have such a deep desire to be here. The Elders are great too but oh how I love sister missionaries.

The book is blue, the church is true, Moroni is on the ball, and I love you all.

Hermana Parry

PS. My companion and I got chosen to lead a "How to Begin Teaching" Class for all the new missionaries today! Wish us luck! We are really excited. Our teachers nominated us to the MTC Presidency to work with all the new missionaries. I thought that was pretty cool!  They have 1000 people come in each week now. It’s insane.

I love Sister Pedersen

Elder Macdonald and some friends that ran into us

Elder Riley Hodson 

Best Dad in the world - he sent a package of fruit!
Our final destinations

Happy Valentine's Day! Cheers MOM...Thanks for the package.

Temple Walk Day

Email and Laundry day!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Midway Point in the MTC - week three

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hola familia y amigos

So today marks my midway point here in the MTC. I cannot believe how fast this is going. I feel like I was just writing you an email yesterday!

This week has been really interesting... I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord that have really helped me keep going this week though!

I don't know if I mentioned this before but we had 2 new girls move in to our room. They are going to the Las Vegas West mission! One of the new sisters is good friends with one of the other girls in the room. The other sister is from Spring, TX which is in MY mission. She is best family friends with the Pingrees (my mission president)! Right when I found this out I made her give me that whole low down on Houston. She is so excited for Hermana P and me. She says that we are going to love the people, the place, and especially our mission president. She told us how President Pingree had a revelation right before he officially became mission president in the Houston Mission. He said how he knew that there were tens of thousands of people that are just waiting for the gospel and are ready to be taught. How exciting is that? That has really put things here in the MTC in perspective for me. I have really changed my study habits so that I can be better prepared and equipped to teach the doctrine and share my testimony.

This week I have also been so grateful for prayer. I know that when you offer your whole self to God and confide with him your deepest desires and pains, you can be comforted and healed. We all need to be healed and it is through prayer that I have truly felt God's love for me this week. There is something powerful when you decide to kneel and ponder before you even begin your prayer. It truly shows that you are humbling yourself before the will of God. I love in 1 Nephi when it talks about the people falling down at the tree of life. It shows that after the people clung to the iron rod through all trials and temptations and tribulations, they were so thankful and grateful for the love of God that they just collapsed. When I pray, I kneel because I have fallen in front of my Savior and Heavenly Father because of the overwhelming gratitude that I feel towards them and their love for me.

I have learned that answers to prayers rarely come all at one, but rather piece by piece. We have to make choices that we feel are right and then go with them until we feel the warning from them spirit that they are wrong. It is truly a process, but a necessary process. We grow so much as an individual when we proceed with faith, hope, righteousness, work, determination, and struggle. Sometimes when we don’t feel the spirit guiding us, that is solely because we have to make the decision and start to proceed down that path. I promise that if we have faith, the Lord won't let us get too far without confirming that the path we are taking is correct. For me, that is a really scary thought. But I know that the Lord truly is in the details of our lives and is going to give us growing experiences that we need in order to become what he wants and needs us to become.

Spanish is seriously a roller coaster. It’s been hard not to get discouraged and frustrated with myself. Then I have to think that I have only been studying here for 3 weeks, and for 3 weeks I am pretty good. Sometimes you can just really feel the language barrier. And the barrier is a real thing. You feel yourself running into it- like running into a wall. It hurts and it’s sad because you struggle sharing the desires and love of your heart. But I love learning and I am happy to learn Spanish because I know that is what the people in Houston who need me speak.

Oh, quick side note: My new roommate was telling me how the youth in that area are amazing. They just love the gospel so much so they bring at least 5 of their friends to activities and church. She was saying that on one Sunday they had mission prep and that 40% of the people there were non-members. She was saying how important making a relationship with the youth would be because that is where you are going to get your investigators. This whole thing made me think about Kayla. I am so proud of her and I miss her a lot.  She is such an example to me and I am thankful for the support that she gives me even though we are so far apart. I honestly feel it so strong here. Especially this week- it was such a tender mercy for me. Kayla, I can't wait to hear about your missionary stories in a few years. You’re gonna be great because you are already great!

So we had 2 districts leave this week. That was really hard. These districts really eased me into the MTC and strengthened me with their testimonies. We always sing God Be With You Till We Meet Again on their last Sunday. I pray and hope that we all live worthily so that we can return to Jesus' feet together. They are going to be so amazing and I know that they are going to change so many lives in their respective missions because they have seriously changed mine so much. Some just got transfer to Boise, ID so Macdonalds look out for them! They are waiting for visas.

I know that the church is true. I am so thankful to be in the MTC. It sounds like things are pretty crazy with everyone right now and I am so thankful to be somewhere where I am constantly reminded to have an eternal perspective and of the love that God has for me and each of us.

Hope all is well with everyone! Thanks again for all the letters and packages. You are all the best!

xoxo, Hermana Parry

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another week in the MTC and everything here is great! If I was out in the field I would have had 2 baptismal dates set. (Ill tell you about that later)
This week one of my teachers said something that I just loved. He said that we are not required to run faster than we are able to but we are expected to run. Everything in the MTC moves really fast and it is so important to work hard. I cannot believe I only have 4 weeks left here! The most important thing I learned this week was that once you have studied, prepared, and prayed all that you can, the Lord really does take care of you.

So last week we had our very last lesson with one of our investigators, V. Honestly all I can say is that I truly am an instrument in the Lord's hands. Our last lesson was focused on re-emphasizing the basic foundations of this gospel. We studied a lot to figure out the Spanish we needed to say in order to say what we wanted to say and we prayed to make sure that the spirit would be with us. We made it very simple and we decided to not take in any notes with us. We worked only with the scriptures. Luckily I have been able to really remember where certain scriptures are- that has truly been a blessing and makes teaching a lot easier. Anyways, I remember coming out of that lesson and not knowing what had just happened. My companion turned to me when we came out and said that she didn't even know that I knew those words that I was saying in the lesson. And guess what, I didn't. All I do know is that I was testifying how true the Book of Mormon was and that this book is the closest way for us to get to God. It was so powerful. Right after I asked if he would follow the example of Christ and be baptized. He said of course. It was the best feeling ever. You know how they say in the scriptures how great will be your joy if you bring one soul unto me, well its true. Ever since then I have been so motivated.

Yesterday we taught a new investigator. It was our very first lesson with him. His name is R. His wife died about 3 years ago. He was absolutely a mess when we first arrived. He was so sad and just had trouble believing in God. I shared the experience about when Amy died and how our family was just devastated because she was only 26 and pregnant at the time. From that moment on the spirit seriously took over the lesson. We explained how God has a plan for us. I expressed how ya sometimes bad things happen but God made it possible to be happy and find hope through the plan of salvation and the sacrifice of his son. I love reading Alma 7:11-12 with investigators because it talks about how Christ knows how to succor us because he has felt every pain on this planet. We asked him how he was feeling and he said how we were helping him to feel really good inside. I told him that was the Spirit testifying to him that the words in the Book of Mormon and that we were sharing were true. I told him that he could have that always. I then popped the question of baptism and he said yes! On, the first visit. Can you believe it? The Spirit really does testify to investigators and helps them find hope that there is a way to be happy in this life and live with our families forever.

On Sunday I listened to Elder Holland's talk "Missions are Forever." It has FOREVER changed me as a missionary. Go watch it please. I have been studying a lot about the conversion of Alma the Younger in Mosiah and he was talking about how we have the power and authority to astound people just like in the Book of Mormon. It is amazing. I know I have been set apart so I have the authority but the power comes from obedience and studying. So my new goal is to live my life so that the Lord can work through me so I can teach at the same level as the sons of Mosiah and Alma and astound people with the spirit.

My companion and I have had some great teaching opportunities. I really lucked out with her. I think its kind of a bad thing that she is so awesome because it is setting the bar for companions really really high. I love her to death! And ironically we are practically the same person. We decided to make a list of all the ways we are similar. In 2 minutes we already had about 50 things- for example we love eating Andes mints after meals and our moms are our best friends.

Im sorry if these emails don't make much sense. We have hardly any time on the computer here. But I just want all of you to know that I love each of you and am so thankful for all the packages, letters, love, and support that you send my way. I have the best support group ever!

I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I am so grateful for the strength that it has been for me in the MTC. I have especially enjoyed reading El Libro de Mormon. Somethings just sound so much better in spanish and the Book of Mormon is one of those things. The words that they use have so much meaning and there are exclamation marks and it is all just really wonderful.

Hope everyone is having a swell week! I am too happy to be homesick but I do miss being able to call you up and tell you about every little thing that happens here. The Spirit really is in the MTC and with all the missionaries here. The Lord is so happy that we have all chosen to give up ourselves for His purpose to bring people unto Him. I am grateful for this opportunity.

Mucho amor,
Hermana Parry

PS 2 districts are leaving this weekend and I am so devastated. I do not know how I am going to handle being transferred while I’m actually in Houston. I have attachment issues. I love everyone way too much.

Also, I do not know if you saw Elder Macdonald's email but he said how we have the exact OPPOSITE schedules. And it is true. I hardly ever see him. It does however make seeing him that much more exciting. He seems happy! I sure miss him a lot but it is really awesome to see both of us as missionaries in the MTC. I still can't get over the fact that I am here. Missions are awesome. If any of you are on the fence about whether you should go or not, do everything you can to get yourself out on a mission! It is so life changing. Ive only been gone for 2 weeks and I can already testify about that. Ya the days are long and things are hard, but its suppose to be hard. It wasn't easy for Christ while he was on the earth so why should it be easy for us.

Ok now I am signing off! Time is up. LOVE YOU!!





Wednesday, February 6, 2013


One week is finally under my belt. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love the MTC. It is so awesome! Everyday I see 10 people that I know and it just makes me so happy to know that we are all in here doing the Lord's work. There is so much power and strength when you are a missionary. Last night we sang Called to Serve as the opening song for our devotional. It is amazing the testimonies that everyone has here and I am so blessed to be surrounded by such great examples. I have grown so much already and it has only been one week- quick side note, time in the MTC is so weird. Sometimes I feel like I have only been here for one day and then other times I feel like I have been hear a year. Right now I am feeling like I never want to leave the MTC. I have never been happier in my entire life.

I seriously believe, even more so than I did before, that you are called to exactly where you need to be called. My district, zone, and companion are serioulsy the perfect fit for what I need right now to grow the most. There are some hermanas in my zone that have been here for 4 weeks and they are seriuosly angels. I am obsessed with them. I have never felt so much love from someone as I do from them. Best friends from the beginning for sure. My companion is amazing. Funny thing is, she is from Mesa! She lives near Liz and Eric. I think we figured out that she is only 2 stakes away or something ridiculous like that. She is also the most intelligent and well put together girl I know. She is a musical genius- full scholarship for cello. She is also making me work out a ton. I cannot tell you how sore I am. Ironically I will probably be in the best shape of my life by the end of my time here in the MTC. She also is really good about keeping up with my enthusiasm. I'm just going to emphasize again how extremely happy I am. There is nothing that I would rather be doing right now. I have been so blessed with such a focused and happy attitude. It has really made being away from family and friends easy.

My branch presidency is unreal. Our first counselor is actually President Monson's nephew! He basically has the whole Book of Mormon memorized- that really has motivated me to start memorizing scriptures in spanish. About every other day we have district meetings and we just sit and talk with someone in our presidency. The spirit is the most strong during those times.

I am still trying to figure out the most effective way to study here so that I can be ready for the mission field. Spanish is the most beautiful language and I have learned more in this week than I did my 2 years of high school spanish. I love studying it and speaking it. Singing hymns in spanish though is probably one of the best experiences ever. On our 2nd day here we already had our first lesson with an investigator. We do not waste any time here in the MTC. I think that has been the most important thing that I have learned here because it has really shown me that the Lord is hastening his work and how important my calling and setting apart as a missionary truly is. 

The MTC is a craash course to become like our Savior. We are asked to focus on one new trait a week. This week I focused on obedience. I cannot tell you how blessed I have been because I have chosen to follow the counsel exactly. I feel like I am really being protected and taken care of just like the Strippling Warriors were in the Book of Mormon. I feel my Savior's love so strong here and that he is so happy that not only me but all the other missionaries are so willing to give up EVERYTHING for Him.

Along the lines of becoming like the Savior, I have learned just how important love and friendship is during the conversion process. When I walked in to my first lesson with V, I cannot even express the amount of love I immediately had for this man. Before we even said hello! Just looking at him made me want to tell him everything that I know to be true so that he can be happy and know that he is loved. I guess I was feeling similar to the scripture in 3 Nephi that talks about Christ appearing to the people in the Americas and going to each of them, one by one, and showing them his nailprints. He wanted each and everyone of them to know that He died for them so they do not have to be alone, they can return to their Heavenly Father and live with their families forever. I am so excited to share that message. It can sometimes be really frustrating in lessons because I feel like I cannot express myself in the spanish language but I really know that I will get there eventually if I keep trying. Elder Parry (Jake) told me right when I first saw him that fear drives away the spirit. And I cannot tell you how true that phrase is. You have to be confident. In order to do this, you must be your first convert. You have to love the Book of Mormon more than any other book. My time in the MTC is really converting me to more diligently be a disciple of Christ and become more like him.

I love you all and I seriously thank you for all the love and support you have shown me throughout the years. Last night, our district was talking about we asked the rhetorical question "who has helped you get you to this point in your life where you have felt ready and willing to serve a mission?" My mind immediately went to all of you. I know that I have the opportunity to be that for so many other people right now. It is crazy that the church lets 18-20+ year olds go anywhere in the world to serve a mission without very much supervision. But it is because the church knows how strong the testimonies are of these young people and He knows that we are trying to do everything we can to show Him that we love him.

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Parry

P.S. Mom, yes, I can say my prayers and share my testimony in spanish now. How crazy is that?