Monday, September 30, 2013

"Allow the fire to strip away the interior"

Shout out to my girl Teresa! Everything went perfectly this past Saturday at her baptism. Basically the whole ward was there to support her. I don’t think that I have felt the spirit as strongly as I did that day. Her cousin, Diego, baptized her. He is probably 28 or so and huge. It was so cute because after the baptism she went to hug him and just cried as he held her. She was glowing that day. I mean, she always glows but now even more so. The following Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. Prime timing right? There was an ex-misionero that said, "Teresa's baptism was something grand to God and the ward." The ward has just been waiting for her. I have never seen a ward take someone in like they took in Teresa. It gives me hope for Lencho and Maria in H5! 

This was also a tender mercy: We were trying to contact referrals. (Yes we actually get referrals in this area!!! How wonderful is that?) Anyways, turns out it was a faulty address. But when we were walking back to our car there was this cute chino building something and we decided that we wanting to see what he was making. He explained and then told us to go inside have his wife show us all the things that they have made together. So we knocked on the door and a lady named Quinn opened the door. She quickly told us to come in and gave us so much love. She was so excited so show us what they have made. (They work do drapery) But the best part was that she was even more excited to talk about God! She told us all about her belief in Jesus Christ and how she just wants a better world. It reminded me of the scripture in Ether 12 that says that those who believe in God can have hope in a better world. She was a living example of that verse. We then explained our missionary purpose to her and let her with a folleto of the Restoration. She told us that we look of children of Christ and then said, Look- pointing to Jesus's face- you look like Him. I wanted to hug her and just cry. I don't think I have heard anything more sweet and sincere than that simple sentence in her broken English. It really has had a huge impact on me and made me think that people really do recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ. This is something so real. We need to be some one that can have the image of God engraved in our countenance!

Which brings me to my next point. THE RELIEF SOCIETY BROADCAST!!! I think this time of year is better than Christmas. I love listening to all our appointed church leaders. There was one part of the whole conference that really stuck out to me- allow the fire to strip away the interior. It was the talk by Sister Reeves and she was talking about the Provo tabernacle being burnt but that it was ultimately refined to become the Brigham City Temple. The Lord allows us to be tried and refined because He sees it all. Remember that, He sees it all. We are all in His hands. 

My Sunday night could have been a work of salvation video. Hermana Deloya and I went to break our fast at Hermana Gaytan's house- relief society president. We were talking and eating and I then asked if she had anyone that we could visit this week. She said why don’t we go now?! Ummm, how could we resist. We hopped in her car and starting making visits to menos activos. It was awesome! She is catching the wave! I loved her enthusiasm and willingness to just drop everything and go NOW. That’s how we must all be. This is not the time to wait for tomorrow but this is a work for now. I love it! It was also awesome because doors that usually don’t open for us, OPENED! I also think that they will continue to open because we had awesome experiences at their homes. The spirit was so strong and everyone we visited committed to go to conference this next week! 

I love you all! 

Get ready for conference:) 

I am starting to find my family here in Louetta and it makes me so happy!

Keep smiling, 
Hermana Parry

PS Remember that love breaks all barriers. That is an important lesson I learned this week too!
Teresa and her sister
My girl Teresa!

Monday, September 23, 2013

one year older and wiser too!


Hello family!!! (I am proud of this 20-year-old girl of mine - I love her faith and humility)

Such an interesting week. First off I just want to say thank you for all the treats. I don’t know how you don’t expect me to gain a million pounds from it all! Seriously though. It was out of control. I definitely felt the love. 

On Saturday I had exchanges and I went up to the Woodlands area. That was the BEST birthday present/ tender mercy ever!!! I went with the Sister Training Leader- Hermana Driessel. She is so similar to Aunt Amy. It was a breathe of fresh air. We had a stellar day. I felt like a missionary. It was a powerful day. There was one point when Hermana Driessel just turned to me and said; Hermana there is a power that comes when you speak. Everyone in the room just looks at you and they can feel your energy. She started crying when she said that and then said, look, the spirit is even confirming what I am saying. We both laughed. But honestly, that was probably the kindest thing I have ever heard. I have been struggling so much this past transfer just feeling like I am really helping this people so that definitely made me feel so good. I love Hermana Driessel so much! Also it has been raining like crazy here. There were floods up in the woodlands area- hence the pictures! They are awesome right. That is the life of a real missionary. Apparently earlier that day, the water was up to people's necks. Insane right? 

A couple of weeks ago we were at a member’s house and we were talking about pupusas. I told her that my birthday was on the 22nd and all that I wanted to do was learn how to make pupusas. So she invited us back to learn. Surprise! When we went back to her house yesterday, she made some of her favorite food from su pais- El Salvador. It was so sweet. We had yuca, oreja, and chicharron. If you don’t know what that is, it is pig ear and skin on top of this potato type thing. I just prayed that I would be able to swallow. I gagged on my first bite and I knew that I was a goner from there. By some miracle she let me take it home after I had eaten only half and everyone else had finished. But then she got me a cake and a stuffed animal puppy. I have my own CREW now. I slept with it last night because I was really missing my family. But I think that it was really something special for Hermana Morales for me to choose to go to her house yesterday because she usually doesn’t like to have a relationship with the missionaries because she doesn’t like to get attached! She kept saying how happy she was that I loved her and wanted to be with her. So that made me really happy that I could share my birthday with her. That was the best part of the day. 

Another birthday miracle was that Emilze found a ride to church in 4 minutes! She also said how much she loved it and wished that there were more classes. She is doing so well. I sent you my journal entries home about her so you can get all the details. 

Teresa passed her baptismal interview and everything is set for this Saturday at 10! She just never stops smiling. 

This week we had interviews with President. We talked a lot about the atonement. Just about how to really understand and develop gratitude about the atonement. It hit me that we can literally put all of our fears, guilt, inadequacies, etc. on His shoulders and He will in turn give us strength. That is how it works. We just need to search for Him with our whole heart and then we will find Him. I am supposed to gain a really deep understanding about the atonement and how it works in our lives on the mission. I am especially learning it with my companion right now. We are very different people and I do not like how we are. We have comp inventories everyday. (Learning the importance of communication, and you would be surprised to know that I am the one who starts and leads the discussion- I'm confronting things, who would have thought?)  

Another insight this week, if you want to be a good missionary, you have to stop praying about being a good missionary and pray for those you serve and are around you. 

Everyone have charity. Everyone keep smiling. 

I love you all! 

Wish I could write more and that this could all be organized a little better but I hope you get the jist of it all. I am happy and working hard. 

We are all in the refiners fire and trying to becoming perfected. Trials are blessings. I am so grateful for everything that I am learning. I am grateful for the example of Jesus Christ. I am so far from perfect but I know that I am a lot better than I was at the beginning of my mission. I am grateful for this opportunity God has given me. He can definitely do this work without me but the fact that He chooses to let someone so imperfect as me is humbling. There is a reason. The mission helps us become who we need to become. 

mucho amor, 

Hermana Parry

PS remember how we had thanksgiving in Houston one year... I forgot to tell you that I think that hotel is in gulfbank! Crazy huh?! 

 "It was a tender mercy to be with her on Saturday.
She reminds me of Aunt Amy."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Keep Smiling

This is my Mexican Dress that was given to me!

Hermana Deloya

God Bless America
HEY family!

I am so happy. Seriously there are so many great things happening all throughout this mission. It just testifies to me that this really is the Lord's work and more people are being prepared by His hand. Also I have a testimony more now than ever before of the reality of the believing blood. Being a missionary is the best! And I know without a doubt that I am suppose to be here in Houston but more specifically in Louetta.

I still just cant believe that we were able to get in contact with Emily Barrera. God literally put us both in each other's path because she is ready! We dont have her old teaching record, she is not found in any progress report. NADA. But yet, here we are. This week we set a baptismal date for October 19th. She is really struggling reading the book of mormon but she just downloaded it on her iphone so it would be a little easier. Past missionaries got ahold of this week when word got out that Emily Barrera was found. They told us that she had problems about reading the book of mormon. But seems to me we are slowly getting over that issue. God is softening her heart and preparing her more. We texted us this weekend and said that she got an answer. She wouldnt tell us what it was though. She is really scared. But I know that she knows it is true and that she needs this. The witness of the Holy Ghost makes an impression on the soul that is more powerful than anything you can see or hear. She felt it. Keep her in your prayers. She needs a lot of strength. There is so much more that I could say about her but I hope that will suffice.

On Saturday we had to knock ALL day. Literally though. We had 9 hours of knocking. But at 8:30 it all paid off. We tried contacting one of our potential investigators. About a week ago we had a cita with her but she opened the door and was drunk. So we just told her we would come back another time. So surprise. There we were at her doorstep at 8:30 at night. She told us now was not a good but we didnt give up. We got talking a little more and she told us her and her daughter were having a really hard time right now and just broke down. We shared a scripture and then asked to prayer with her. When we asked to pray with her she lit up and immediately invited inside. We then talked a little more. She joking said that its a shame that kids dont come with instructions. But introduced her to the Book of Mormon and said these are the instructions. We promised that if she read the Book of Mormon tonight that she would see immediate changes. When she got the Book of Mormon in her hands, her countenance immedaitely changed again. She was glowing and promised to read. The spirit was confirming everything that we were saying. It was a super powerful experience. And ironically all happened at 8:30 after knocking all day.

Funny tracting story: so we were in a trailer park and we knocked on this old ladies door. We sweetly told her who we were and who we represented and then she was like you are those mormons huh. We said yes and then she freaked out on us. We ended up asking her if there was anything that we could do for her but she said no but there is a lot that you can do for yourself and slammed the door. Its times like those when I wish I could just sit down and explain what we believe because she just ignorant.

I love you all so much! I love being a missionary and getting to know these people. They are amazing. I am learning and changing so much. Life is good. Couldnt get any better.

Keep smiling,

Hermana Parry

I told her next pictures I need to see her FACE!!

Look at Chef Mack - thanks for the receta Dad!

Burnt Fingers...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Power of Prayer

Hello BEAUTIFUL FAMILY AND FRIENDS! I really just love you all so so much. Thank you for all your prayers. I don’t have much time so I hope that I can type these stories really fast. I really wanted to share them with you! I know that God is our Heavenly Father and he is anxiously waiting for us to turn to him through prayer. Everyone should pray. It is real and he will answer.

Ok so here you go:

There is this 16 year old, Teresa, who has cousins that are members of the church. A few months ago the cousins invited her to church and immediately she loved it. After the service she told them that she wanted to be baptized. The cousins then went to the Louetta West sister missionaries to fix the charlas for her. After a few lessons, Teresa was passed off to the Elders for some weird reason. The Elders, however, were having no luck with helping Teresa progress because the mom was very much opposing baptism. 2 Sundays ago I met Teresa and the Elders told us to start meeting with her- because technically she lives in our area. When I met her, we immediately became best friends. She is seriously the BEST! A ray of sunshine. We are very much kindred spirits. Anyways, we then set up a cita to visit her this week. We went over on Wednesday and just thought that we would get to know her a little more and try to understand the situation that she was in with her mom. We were talking about how much she loved Youth Conference a few weeks ago and how she is talking to all of her friends about the church and is even praying about going on a mission. Somehow or another we finally got talking about baptism. She was saying how badly she wanted to be baptized and how eager she is to bare her testimony. She told us how lately she has been praying so much that her mom's heart would be soften so that she could get permission to be baptized. She told us that she has been crying and really, really pleading with God that this could happen. So when we invited her to be baptized on the 28th of September, she turned to her mom and her mom said "si esta segura de lo que esta haciendo" and Teresa said "segurisima." She then turned to us and said, my prayer was answered!!! I can get baptized. So I definitely gained a testimony that if we have a sincere heart and faith, our prayers will be answered.

Another really cool story this week. So my last day with Hermana Burnham and Koch we poached into the Louetta area to eat a bionico- my new favorite food: ice cream, crema, granola, and fruit. Anyways, we really weren’t that hungry but for some reason we knew that we had to be there. So we were sitting there waiting for our order and this girl comes up to us. She asks if we are the Mormon missionaries. We obviously, respond saying WE SURE ARE!!! with the biggest grins on our face. She told us that she met with them about a year ago. We were like no way! We talked for a few minutes but she had to leave so she voluntarily gave us her number and we gave her ours- the gulfbank number. Anyways, 2 days later she called the gulfbank hermanas and they made a cita for the Louetta East hermanas to go visit her. Weird because I AM NOW A LOUETTA EAST HERMANA!!! So we went to see her and she told us that she is holding on to a lot of guilt and wants to change her life. She wants to be closer to God. When she used to meet with the missionaries, she was the happiest she ever was and she wanted that again. When she saws us at the Bionicos place, she took that as her sign. I know that God has a plan and that we are all in His hands. We need to have more faith and trust in His timing and ways. They are perfect. I really believe that I am in this area for her. To help her realize the reality of the Atonement. She didn’t want to go to church yet because she doesn’t feel ready but I know that she will get there soon- little by little. The atonement is real. I know that she will be healed.

I was reading a part of my setting apart and it actually talked about how I will come to understand the power of the atonement in my life and the life of others. I know that she is one of those people that I was sent to see. It was a tender mercy and nice transition for me to come to Louetta.

As for everyone else in the area, we don’t know them yet. We have so much work to do. This is a fairly new area and there is a ton of work that needs to be done. Gulfbank prepared me for this. I learned how to work, work, and work there. I can't wait. I am diving into it all here.

I love the ward. I can’t wait until I really get to know them!

There is so much to do. I LOVE IT!

I am so happy.

Crazy Matt was transferred same week as me- remember how we do everything together?

keep smiling,

Hermana Parry

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

D&C 100:4

"Por consiguiente, yo, el Senor, [te] he permitido venir a este lugar; pues asi me era conveniente para la salvacion de almas."

I have to say that I am really glad that I read that scripture this morning otherwise this letter might be a little more sad. As you already know, I got transferred last week. On Thursday to be exact. Probably one of the hardest days of my life. I pulled up to transfer meeting and just lost it and couldn’t hold it together for a while. The tender mercy was that President Pingree came up to me and just held my hand and told me that he liked to see me crying because that meant that I had given my heart, mind, and soul to Gulfbank. I can’t tell you how much that comment meant to me. It was just assurance that I really did give everything to Gulfbank. The people of Gulf bank changed my life and I will always hold them so dear.

The ironic thing is that Maria and Florencio were the last people that I saw in Gulfbank. When we were still friends back in July, Maria told me that she would buy me a dress from Mexico because I told her I really wanted one. Then that whole fiasco happened and we stopped being in contact with each other for quite a while. When I went to say goodbye, Maria pulled out the dress! Now believe me, I’m not a materialistic person but at that moment I don’t think that anything could have meant anything more to me. I just cried because I realized that there was a deep amistad there and that they were forever changed because I had met them. I also got choked up when Maria told me that there were other people in Houston that I need to meet. I agreed. There are more Lenchos out there and I am excited to find them!!!

My new area is Louetta East and it is on the other side of the 45 from Gulfbank. En verdad, I am sitting at a library in Gulfbank to write this. That is how close I am! I am really happy to be here and meet the people. The ward is amazing. I was sitting in fast and testimony meeting amazed at how strong these members are. It’s going to be awesome. I already have a good majority of the wards names memorized so that’s a start right? Oh here is something really cool! I am not sure if I wrote you about Angie's aunt (Hermana Herrera's sister) who gave the most amazing closing prayer at Angie's bautismo, but she is in my ward!!!! I was greeting people at the door and she walked in with her children and I freaked out. The kids then kept asking their mom when she could have us over. That was another little tender mercy. I know I am in God's hands and that he is putting me where I need to be.

My new companera is Hna Deloya! She is a native speaker so my goal is to kill English this transfer and became Latina! She is so small and cute. My favorite thing about her is that when she gets excited she brings her hands up to her face and says "ewww" and does this cute little shake. haha I hope you can get the visual.

I’ll try to send pics next week! Today was crazy with the short time on the computer!

I love you so much and I am so proud of all that you are doing. I know life is hard but nothing is too hard for God! Rely on Him and all is well

Keep smiling, (I know I am trying to)

Hermana Parry
Saying GOODBYE to Gulfbank and the Trio Companionship

Friends Forever

Great Gal

Picture sent from Hermana Burnham reads, "Can taking a picture with Elders be any more awkward?"