Sunday, March 31, 2013

Todo a su tiempo

The biggest lesson that I have learned this week is that everything really is in the Lord's hands. Thats really comforting to know but it is also really frustrating in the mission field when you are working so stinkin hard! But I just want to say that I seriously do have a testimony that God knows us individually and is working with each of us to help us progress and make our way back to Him. It is definitely a process- a long, constant process! But there is nothing that will bring you more joy when you accept that.
I also have to say thanks mom and dad for letting me and helping me go on this mission. Ive already met people that I know I need and that need me. Its weird when you can just feel that right when they open the door and start talking to them. Nothing is by coincidence and thats awesome! Dad sent me a scripture this week that I wrote in my planner because it was so perfect for what was happening- its Esther 4:14 "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Remember that you all are where you are for a reason. Make the most of it and sea valiente! I am learning that. It is not easy but it is possible with faith. In Matt 19:26 it says "But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible." That is the message we have been trying to share with our investigators this week. That God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to help us in ALL things. It is amazing to see how that changes people when they truly let that sink in. Being a missionary is the best!
Ok now for the good stuff aka the miracles and tender mercies of this week: 
1. I dont know if you remember me telling you about Yesenia and Beatrice last week. Yesenia is 17 and takes care of her sick, sick grandma? Anyways, she is golden and we had a stellar lesson with her this week. We planned on talking about the Restoration with her but all that changed. Before we went in to the lesson, she took us to meet her mom next door. Scariest moment of my life because last time we were with Yesenia, she was saying how mean her mom was and how she says no to everything. So the whole way over there my companera and i were praying so hard that we would know what to say to the mom so that we could keep teaching Yesenia because she is so excited about the gospel. Anyways, our prayers were answered at that time and the mom was great and we can keep teaching Yesenia at the grandma's house. So we went back to the grandmas house and for some reason felt like we needed to talk about Christ and his atonement. She really doesn't know much about the gospel but the grandma is catholic. I am so grateful the spirit guided us to talk about Christ because the mom sent over the brother, who was clearly intoxicated to come over and spy on us. We felt this darkness enter the room when he entered and it was a little bit awkward. But we picked up the lesson again and once we started talking about Christ, the bad was seriously overpowered. At the end of the lesson we taught Yesenia how to pray. Her first prayer is the most sincere and powerful prayer I have ever heard. This is what I wrote in my journal about it "I am sitting in the car right now outside of Yesenia and Beatrice's apartment writing this right now because I do not ever want to forget how I feel at this moment. We just got done with our lesson with Yesenia and Beatrice... When we asked Yesenia to pray, she said she didnt know how to. We clearly said it was just feelings from your heart. She started by saying Dear God, I Love you. Youre awesome. Thank you for keeping my grandma around for this long. Tell my grandpa I love him and I am taking care of her now. She then ended it." As we were leaving I asked how she felt and she said really good and had the cutest and biggest smile I have ever seen. I told her thats the Holy Ghost confirming to you that God heard your prayer and that He loves you because you are His daughter. And just when I thought her smile couldnt get any bigger, it did. She is awesome and has such a strong desire to know more. She also loves to read so we are so excited to give her a Book of Mormon. I am so thankful for that prompting last week to knock on her door. 

2. Remember how we arent allowed to tract after a certain time here, well we finished with our dinner appointment last Thursday at 8:20. That gave us about 40 minutes to do something. We didnt really have anything planned in particular but we both felt like we needed to go to Hermana Cardenas house- she is a menos activo. She wasnt home though which was a total bummer. We started driving away about to get on the feeder near her house when all of a sudden we got a phone call from her. She was asking where we were and if we could come by. We immediately turned around and headed back to her house. When she opened the door she just started crying. She was saying how she was so worried about getting her daughter to college and feeding her and paying bills, etc etc. She was so scared and felt so alone. She had the prompting though to call the missionaries because they can help. (This is the lady who said she feels something super special when we come over and she just loves it). We shared some scriptures with her about how our trials are only but for a small moment. On Saturday we had a special fast with her and she started seeing all these blessing open up unto her. She is feeling a lot better which makes me so happy. She said that she was going to come to church on Sunday too but unfortunately never showed up.

3. This week we found another family. I love when we find families that are wanting to know more because this message is for the families and it strengthens them so much! Ricardo and Margerita have 4 kids, and one of them is 8. They are from Mexico. They are so genuine and open. It is amazing. The mom really gets excited and lights up when we talk to her. We talked about faith last time and did fuego de fe with them. That is my companeras all time favorite thing to do with people. Its great! But I am really excited to talk to them about the Restoration and God's plan for families. Its going to be a great week with them! And with all our investigators.
There were a bunch of other totally amazing moments this week but I cant write them all because I just do not have time. But things are progressing down here and we are helping so many people. I dont know how else to say it- but missionary work is the best.
Miss you all and hope you are all doing well! I get stoked when I hear from you even though it isn't daily like in the MTC. They spoil you there.
I am so happy. And so ready to work even harder this week. There is so much potential in Gulfbank. You can literally just see it.
mucho amor,
Hermana Parry
PS remember those easter eggs you sent me last year with the confetti in them? well they had those at our ward easter picnic on saturday and they were a huge hit with the kids. there is this little boy named Herbert, cutest boy you will ever meet- kinda remids me of Zach, but anyways, he was just a hoot and told me to bend over and I being totally oblivious did and he cracked the egg on my head in front of the whole ward. i felt like a complete dork because I fell for it. everyone was just laughing and laughing and now i am the joke of the ward! Seriously, Houston 5th is the best.  
Easter Egg Hunt

Monday, March 18, 2013

Caligirls are reppin it here in GULFBANK

There are so many things that I need to update you on and I have no idea where to start! Seriously though. 

Well my new companera is Hermana S. She is from LA but is El Salvadorean- which means, yes my prayers were answered and I have a native speaker companion. She is so great! She is so loud and fun and all the members just adore her. For this weeks planning session we are going to figure out how I can use her spanish to help my own spanish. The language out here is a lot harder than the MTC spanish. But I am so excited to learn it. I know that the people I need to find and work with speak spanish so I really need to get going. I am almost done with el libro de mormon- finishing it in 1 week was too hard. I only have 20 more pages though so I am really happy! 

Right now we are in an area called Gulfbank. It was reopened 2 transfers ago for sisters. It has been shut down for a little over a year to sisters because men were sneaking into the sisters' apartment. Sketch right. Well youll be happy to know that we dont actually live in Gulfbank- rather about 20 minutes out of our area. Which is definitely safer but really inconvenient because it takes forever to drive to where we need to work. In Harrison County there are more people than in 24 states. It is crowded all the time. But I love it because that means there is so much potential here. Honestly I might have just scared you a little bit, but this area is amazing. I love the people so much! The ward is awesome too. The Bishop's family is actually english speaking and we went over to their house for dinner last night. They have 2 daughters- 10 and 16. So fun! I feel right at home and they are taking great care of me. And it was nice to eat normal food for once. I have already had some interesting meals and its only been 5 days. I ate octopus... The members here are so giving. Even the nonmembers. Everyone wants to feed the missionaries. We can go over to just get a referral and end up inside eating a full blown meal. Its insane that they have all this food ready to whip up. 

When I first met President Pingree, wow I knew that he was the mission president that I needed. I dont even know how to describe him! He is such a ball of energy and just so exciting about the work here in Houston. His family is awesome too! His daughter actually was reading my blog before I got here. They are such an awesome family though. I wish you could meet them because they have such a strong testimony and spirit about them that is so contagious. 

The first day here was interesting. I definitely had culture shock and it was finally hitting me what I was actually about to embark on. I just wasnt myself. We meet a few members and went to less actives homes. It was interesting to say the least. Our final dinner appointment that night was with The S family. My companera told me earlier that day to have something prepared to share with them. Well I didnt know what was really being said between them and my companera at dinner but from what I thought it was about how life is hard and how Jesus Christ can help us. Anyways, the time was turned over to me to share my thoughts and boom. I just balled and balled. Not because I was nervous or feeling bad or anything but because the spirit was so strong because I knew exactly what I needed to share. I shared my favorite scripture in Alma 7 about how Christ succors us and how I knew he was going to help me understand this language because he wants me to speak it. This is all part of his plan. I am just struggling right now because he wants to humble me. I was reading in Eter this morning and it is ironic because it talks a lot about weakness. It helped everything click. I love when that happens! Moral of the story, I think Hermana S loves me now because I am so vulnerable and wanting to share my testimony. I really just want to talk to everyone here and let them know what I believe. 

There is one widow that we visited that I have to tell you about. She is a spit-fire. She was telling me how I need to tell the members that I can't eat sometimes because it is against the word of wisdom to overeat. The funny part is, she makes us eat so much. She has a really strong testimony and was telling me about how hard her life has been because some of her children want nothing to do with her. However, we had a really awesome chat about God's love and his plan for each of us to return to Him. I then just shared about Ammon and how awesome he was because he just knew that through God all things are possible. I liked this visit a lot because it was in english. Some of the members out here know english as well and so whenever they see me, they speak it. In a way its nice because I can understand them 100% but its also frustrating because I want to learn the language and I never am if they are speaking to me in english. But its ok because this week, we are having a funeral for english. From now on, english is dead. Except in this letters hah I want you to know whats going on. 

Now I am super excited to share with you these stories. I have been praying so hard that my companion and would be able to find people to teach and listen to this message. It is hard since it is a new area and you cant really tract in certain areas and you cant be out at night. But anyways, I knew that if I was doing everything I could the Lord would guide us to those people we needed to find. Anyways, on Saturday my companera wanted to visit a inactive member and then we decided to go see this boys family who could possibly be new investigators. The inactive member was not home which was a bummer because we tried going there the day before and she wasnt home then either. The first time that we went there I noticed her neighbors house and the high school musical dance pad outside. I thought how awesome would it be to teach them because they are a family. Anyways we didnt knock on the neighbors house or anything because it was my first day and I really didnt want to annoy my companera. Stupid looking back on it I know. But anyways when we went back to this area on Saturday and the inactive wasnt home again, I turned to my companion and said we need to knock on this door. So we did and this 17 year old girl opened it and immediately let us in to see her sick grandma who's apartment it actually is. We sang a song for them and the teenager was just crying and said how she wants religion in her life and all this other stuff. We set up an appointment to meet with them next week. The granddaughter also got really excited when we told her about the youth program. I really think this would be great for her and strengthen her so much in her life! The only problem is her mom is really mean and she is unsure about how all that will play along. But we have hope and we know that she will be taken care of. The second story is when we were trying to go visit this boy and his family. They werent home either but it was such a beautiful day that a ton of people were outside in this apartment complex. We decided to go up to this young mom and start taking to her. She was saying how she has a book of mormon and likes to read from it sometimes but wants to know more! Wow, ok of course we said that we wanted to teach her more. So we will be meeting with her this week to! I can't wait. 

After all this, I was just on such a high that I wanted to knock doors so my companera obliged. We went to this nicer neighborhood. There was this family party and everyone was drinking except for this one man. So I went up to him and started talking to him. Not very well but enough to place a book of mormon! I know that there truly are tens of thousands of people that are waiting for our message. It is really humbling to be in Gulfbank. I sometimes forget I am in the US. There is a family in the ward that has 11 children and pregnant with another and they live in a one room home and all the children sleep in a shack. I think they are working with the church right now to get better living conditions which is awesome. I know that God loves ALL his children and wants them all to come home to Him. We are here to help people get there. There are 2 kinds of missionaries: 1. the best visiting teachers and 2. the baptizing missionaries. I am ready to work and be a baptizing missionary because that is what the people need. I am so excited for this area and I don't ever want to leave. Its already been really hard but I get refocused and excited when I write these emails because I remember all the tender mercies and miracles from the week. Always look for those in your life because they really do help you remember who you are and your purpose here. 

Le amo muchisimo! Sea valiente! 

paz y bendiciones

Hermana Parry

MTC Roommates

First companionship - a friendship that will be treasured forever.

These cute kids getting ready to head out into the field!
Hermana Parry's MTC instructor...She gave the stretchy $1 St. Patty's Day tie to him.
He collects ties so it was perfect!  That makes 150+ ties in his collection.

Hermana Parry arrived in HOUSTON, TX!!!

Eating with the new missionaries and getting to know each other. 

First Houston, TX companionship
They are assigned the area of Gulfbank
President Pingree's new missionaries

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission has come-- I HAVE MY TRAVEL PLANS. Houston better get ready because I get there in exactly a week. I will get there at 12:45pm and March 13th! I am freaking out. I cannot believe I am leaving the MTC. I absolutely have loved it here, especially the people. My teachers were seriously perfect for me and I have been so blessed to have had them these past 6 weeks. But I have learned and progressed all that I can here and I am ready for what awaits me in Houston.

This week I have thought a lot about why I am here on a mission. I have really come to realize that I am God's child- and that is why I am on a mission. I have decided to take the Lord's name upon me because I know I am his child and I want others to realize the potential that they have because of that. People always say that a mission is the closest that you ever get to real life. I think I am starting to understand why. It is because you start to change your perspective about everyone. We are all children of a Heavenly Father and he desires to bless us and have us inherit the highest degree of glory. The love that he has for each of us is so strong. It says multiple times in the scriptures that he weeps. God weeps because of His love for us. How powerful! As a missionary, I have really more fully felt the love that he has for each of us on this earth. I'm obsessed with these feelings. I know that God loves each of us and weeps because He wants us to be happy.

Because I am God's child, I really must surrender to His will for me. I have to commit to be His property, especially for these next 17 months (ya one month has already gone by- crazy right?). It is so easy but like I said before, missionary work is only done right when you forget yourself and go to work. I know that I cannot do this alone. This is hard work! Really hard work. It can be disappointing, lonely, frustrating, etc. But I know that because of the atonement, I can be strengthened to accomplish all that I am suppose to on my mission and in my life. I am so thankful for a Savior who has suffered all pain and sorrow so he can truly know how to succor us. There is a quote that basically says, no matter how dark and dreary your days may seem, remember that Christ's days were much darker. Christ is watching and waiting for all of us to turn to Him. He can be healed and comforted because of the atonement. Something that stood out to me this week while I was teaching is that our message does not promise an easy and happy life. But rather, our message gives people hope and a way to find joy in the journey.

My goal as a missionary is to strengthen people so that they can find Christ and have that conversion to make convenants and endure to the end. I have been praying so much for the people of Houston. I cannot wait to meet them. I am also praying a lot for my new future companion! In TRC this week, we met with a lady and her 2 kids. The crazy thing is that she served in my exact mission! She was saying how all the sister missionaries that she served with were amazing and that the people there were so friendly and amazing. What a tender mercy to be able to talk to her for a while. It has taken me a while to get to the point to be excited about leaving the MTC. She helped me get there for sure.
The MTC has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. It is not just a missionary training center, but rather a missionary fortifying center! The strength and power among all the missionaries here is unlike anything you can ever imagine. I have been blessed so much with the sisters and elders in my zone and district. I know that I was born when I was, where I was, and with who I was because of this sole purpose. Everything becomes so evident that God's hands are truly in the details of our lives here.

On Sunday, I watched the talk Characteristics of Christ by Elder Bednar. It was so awesome! It got me thinking a lot. He said something that really stood out to me. He said that who we are is a lot more important than what we say as missionaries. That is our power as missionaries. We have been set apart to be representatives of Christ. I need to do everything that I can to become more Christlike. He healed people. He turned out when we would instinctively turn in. You see that multiple times in the scriptures. Ex, right after he was betrayed by his apostles, he healed the soldiers ear that Peter had cut off. You need to pay the price to obtain what you need to have in this life. That means that we need to sacrifice all that we can and work diligently to change in order to gain the conversion that will bring others closer to Christ.

I want to share that I have a testimony that when you serve others, your own personal needs are met. I know that our purpose in this life is to love and help others! It is the best work there is!
I am sorry if it sounds like I just am teaching you when I send these emails home. I am just learning so much here and I want to share some of those thoughts with you. I dont even know if my thoughts make any sense! But I am so happy to be here. I know that being a great missionary does not happen all at once. It is a long, hard process and it is only possible throught the atonement of Christ. Our gospel is the atonement of Christ and that is why it is so awesome. I know that he is the center of everything. I am thankful that when I turn to him I can be perfected and made whole. He really is turning my weaknesses into strengthens when I go to him with a broken heart and contrite spirit. I cannot let human fraility obscure my sight of God. It is so important for us all to recognize trangression and weakness because you will fall in this life. But if you strive hard to be obedient, he will protect you from fiery darts that are thrown at you. You cannot slack off for one second as a missionary. You must always remember why you are on a mission. You also have to use the atonement everyday in order to remove all the barriers that could hold you and restrain you from the blessings and companionship of the Holy Ghost. When you sincerely turn to Christ and foresake yourself,  you become a new person. I have seen it here in the MTC. We all can be better and it is exciting to think that there is a way for us to become better! I love this gospel so much! I cannot wait to share it.

I am so grateful for the opporunity wear and represent Christ's name. It is a huge honor. I am going to open my mouth and not shut it until I find everyone with broken hearts that needs to hear this message because I know that is what He wants me to do.
I love you all so much and once again appreciate all the love and support!
xoxo, Hermana Parry
I have loved Sister Pedersen
Scripture Study Time
P-Day means time for laundry and letter writing!  
P-Day and we had a picnic outside
Slippers were a good thing to bring!
Hermana's in my district
Hermana Parry stated,
"The MTC should be called the MISSIONARY FORTIFYING CENTER!!" 

Elder Peterson and Hermana Parry ran into each other!
Elder Parry before he left for Phoenix, Arizona
Exercise Time
Living on the fruit and nuts Dad brought to me!
Strawberries and Chocolate Dip in my package
I shrunk my nylons

Our different destinations 

We are so excited to get in the field
Class outside in the fresh cold air
We are learning so much