Monday, October 28, 2013

plugging away and working hard

That awkward moment when I bare my testimony at zone conference and an elder comes up to me afterwards and asks me where I am from because I have an accent... My companion just starts laughing because apparently she isn't the only one who thinks that I speak english like a mexican. Asi es. 

This week was extremely slow! We don't really have any promising investigators at this moment, actually we don't really even have a teaching pool at this moment. But we are still plugging away and working hard. 

One night this week we were walking down to E's house and this man, R, was just pulling into his drive way. We had previously met him about 4 weeks ago and since then have lost contact with him. But when he saw us he was quick to shout for our attention! We happily walked over and he told us that he had a really important question for us. He asked us why we carried ourselves with such happiness. He then continued to say that since our first encounter he felt like he has been left with something really special. I told him that we are happy because our message is one of happiness- it is the Restauracion del Evangelio de jesucristo. We then went in to talk about The Restauracion. That really caught him by surprise. He is really smart and quick. He was saying that Restauracion implies that there was a time when the gospel wasnt on the earth. We agreed and starting talking about un pastor, un bautismo, y una fe. That if got him to think even more. We are really excited about him! The only problem is when we went to visit him later this week, he totally avoided us. Pray that we will be able to meet with him again. This message is real and true. I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Sometimes that message can scare people but I dont want it to scare R. I know that if we can see him again, He will be baptized and be happier than he has ever been!!!! 

Anyways this is really short! I am sorry but I am happy! We are working hard. 

Love you all so much!

Keep smiling, 

Hermana Parry

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

E didn't get baptized BUT we are still smiling!

This was a very crazy week! Emilze kept cancelling appointments and avoiding us. We finally got in with her on Thursday and it was indeed awkward. We were at a park and she kept talking to everyone passing by so that she wouldn’t have to talk to us. She brought her sister-in-law, Alexis, as well that ended up being a good thing though. We were talking about the Holy Ghost and how we receive answers. She made the comment that we couldn’t really know that this church was true and we assured her that we could and we do know that it is true. We then read about the fruits of the spirit. The awesome part of the lesson was that Alexis said that no matter how angry or sad she feels, whenever we show up, it completely leaves her and she feels happy and safe. We were able to right away pin that as the spirit and Emilze even agreed with that. Anyways, we committed her to read, pray, and go to church. She has been lacking on reading and church attendance- hence, she has been falling. We have to make sure that we are consistently do all that we can to be close to God, there is no room for half efforts. 

We then were fortunate to meet with Emilze on Friday. Wow. This lesson changed my mission. It was so powerful. I truly felt like an instrument in God's hands to say what He wanted me to tell her. I even told her that we are her to bring her back to God's presence- we made a promise and we are here to fulfill it. We are literally her guides to happiness that lasts. She had lots of doubts and worries when we were there. We talked about how baptism is a necessary step so that you can have the understanding that you are seeking. There is only so much intelligence you can attain prior to baptism- it is like a veil that is lifted when you are baptized. She has developed so much faith and now she has to take a bigger step of faith and enter the waters of baptism. Hermana Deloya is a convert so she was able to explain how everything just clicked when she got baptized.  Anyways we then went back to talk about the Book of Mormon. I was so fortunate to share with her how I received my testimony of the veracidad del libro. To be honest, I always waited for a big manifestation of some sort to know that the Book of Mormon was true. I always had the belief that it was true but I was just waiting for something a little bit grander- i hope that makes sense. Anyways, I read Helaman 5:30 that talks about the Holy Ghost being suave. Most of the times it is just something small but we have to take those small things are recognize that they are something profound because it is from God. It was such a powerful lesson because we could testify with authenticity to all the concerns that she had. While we were in that lesson there was no doubt in my mind that Hermana Deloya and I are suppose to be companions. Emilze needed both of us- that is why we are still together. We have to put differences aside because we both have so much to offer these people. We just need to focus on them and everything falls into place. 

Before we left, we committed her to pray about baptism at 3 o’clock the following day. There was no way she could deny the spirit that was there. It might have scared her because I think it made her realize how true this is and what a big deal this all is. She said she didn’t have her answer still once she finished the prayer. She wanted to spend a lot of time that night praying and that she would call us the following morning to let us know. 

That Saturday, we got the text from her. She seemed really happy. There were smiley faces and exclamation marks! We immediately were like, YES! She is getting baptized today. She told us to come over- so obviously we rushed over there. When we got there she told us her answer was to go to a non-denominational church. First off, I know that is not the answer she got. She was making up all these random excuses and it was so heartbreaking. She didn’t drop us though. She just wants to investigate other churches. We just aren’t quite sure what to do with her now. We testified and really gave bold, simple statements. Super bold.  But that is why the spirit was so strong. 

When we left her house, ya I was a little disappointed BUT I wasn’t sad. I knew that we exhausted every option and really did everything that we could to help her. She is in God's hands and He is not going to abandon her. She is going to come back around real soon and be even more converted. It’s better this way so she can prepare to be a strong member of the church. But I know she knows this is all true. She was even testifying to her neighbor this past week about Jose Smith. Just keep praying for her. 

So that sums up my week. It was all about Emilze! I sure love her. 

On a completely other note, we had NOCHE DE HISPANIDAD on Saturday. Lots of good food and dancing. I love Louetta. There are some really funny people here. I can’t wait to spend the holidays here. 

I love you all so much! 

I am happy and healthy! I am learning how to make pan de elote today- pretty sure I will never ask for a birthday cake again because this stuff is so good. 

Keep Smiling, 

Hermana Parry

Victoriano! Our Grandpa!

Temple Day!

I finally got to wear my shirt from Mexico!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Jesus the Christ

So I am currently reading Jesus the Christ. Lets just say, my love and appreciate of the Savior has grown tremendously. Every day when I read, I am amazed at how much He really loves us- every single one of us. I don’t remember what chapter it is in but I was reading about Christ's ministry and there was one instance when Mary and his brethren went to visit Christ to speak with Him. When Christ heard that they inquired to speak with Him, his response was the following "Who is my mother? And who are my brethren?" He then answers his own question saying and pointing to His disciples: "Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Here we see once again how perfect Christ is. He understood the plan of salvation. His Father's work took precedence over the claims of His own family. He let all trivial matters wait. Now I am not saying this by any means to belittle my love for my own family but I am saying this because it hit me. I am to be fully engaged in my Father's work- the salvation of souls. It is His will that I am here. I must put all other things aside and work, just as Christ did. The promise then is that these people here will become my family. That is my two cents. There is just so much more expected of us as Disciples of Christ. I am literally representing Jesus Christ out here- not myself. I need to teach and be as He was and is. The gospel is the means of changing who we are. 

Sorry I hope that made sense. I just started typing and all that came out. I am learning bastantisimo out here and just want to share it with you! But I hope you know that I still love you guys. I think I just needed a reminder about whose I was first. 

All right area report. Well, please pray for Emilze Barrera. Maybe you can even take a break from this letter and just pray. She needs all the strength and powers of Heaven with her right now. As you know, her baptism is this Saturday- Oct. 19th. But that date is pretty tentative right now. Please pray for her! Anyways, this past week she really made some pivotal changes and steps to more fully give herself to God. We had some really stellar lessons with her and she has a testimony that this is the truth. It is just so hard when her family, boyfriend, and friends are very hateful towards the church. Her biggest problem was keeping the Sabbath Day holy. She was so sad because she understands that it is also a family day and her family always goes out and does fun activities. But we just told her to pray about it. We told her that everything falls into place when you put God first and make sacrifices to do His will. So she prayed and she got her answer. Her birthday was the 13th and her dad was planning on taking her to the Cheesecake factory but she told her dad that she wanted to celebrate her birthday on another day so that she could go to church. Amazing right? Well Sunday came along and Emilze did not show up. We texted her and found out that she decided to stay at home and be with her family. I mean I guess that is kind of ok. At least I was trying to make myself feel ok about it because it was the middle of church and I didn't want to make a scene. After church, we visited her to cut the cake and meet all her friends. Everyone was so rude and cold to us. It broke my heart a little bit but then I remember, its ok, not everyone liked Jesus. So we kept smiling and trying to be funny and get to know the people. Eventually we left and later that night we got a text from Emilze asking if she could still get baptized. We replied and told her we might have to move it and then we talked a little bit more and she said that she doesn’t know if she wants this anymore and all this other stuff. So if you could, please just keep her in your prayers. She knows its true. Satan is just trying to convince her that happiness is found in the word! 

Also Elder Ballard has invited ALL of us to find one person to whom we can bring the joy of the gospel. We must do this before Christmas. He promised that there will be people to teach for years if we all do this. So this is just a friendly reminder: Everyone pray and try to recognize the opportunities that God has put in your path. He is always putting people in our path; we just need to have the eyes to see them. I know that your missionaries in your ward will be greatly appreciative too! We all love referrals:) 

I think that is all I have to say this week! I love you all! I am happy to be on the Lord's errand. There is so much joy serving Him. I literally am healing hearts. 

Keep smiling, 

Hermana Parry

PS. Mom I forgot to tell you another thing I loved about this week: We went to visit Hermana Morales on Thursday after weekly planning and we only had a few minutes because we had a cita with Emilze. We clearly told her that when we got there too so she didn’t get too comfortable. Anyways, we start talking and we see that it is getting close to when we should leave so we try ending the conversation and every single time we do she starts talking about the most random of things so that we don’t leave. This went on for 45 minutes... I can’t complain though because it just showed me how much she loves us! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Grateful for Companions who take pictures!!!

We haven't gotten photos from Hermana Parry for a while so we grabbed these cute ones off of Hermana Koch's Blog....

Conference Weekend!

Was this conference not the most inspired conference ever? I have to agree with President Monson. I felt like everything was directed to me. I just felt like a common theme for me was the scriptures and change. I loved Elder Dubes and how he said that what you have felt to do is a lot more important than what we have done. Faith always points us forward. We are changing people and if we focus on the past we are effecting what we can do in this moment. I then loved Elder Bednar right after who talked about how too often we wait for things to change when in reality we need to change our circumstances. There was also a big focus on the atonement and how we can change and be perfected in the atonement. I know that is real. I have felt it out here. The best thing that I can do as a missionary is help people understand the atonement. We have to grab on to the mercy of the atonement. We have to reach for it and give all our effort to hold on to it and us it in our lives.

Here is a miracle that Hermana Driesel actually shared in zone conference this past week. I am a very small part of it so I just have to share it: When we had intercambios a few weeks ago Hermana Driesel and I were walking around an apartment complex contacting people. We saw that there was a car that said R.I.P. on it. I told her we had to leave a tarjeta on that car. Nothing came from it in that instance. But, apparently this past week, Hermana Driesel and Hermana Miller were there in that same complex, praying in their car. A woman came up to them and banged on the window asking if they are the girls who leave tarjetas. They happily said yes. She said that she had a bunch of new baby clothes and accessories and also a machine that helps circulate blood through the body. She asked if they knew anyone who would need it. Immediately their mind went to this family who is starting to go to church. They are from Hondurous and have nothing. The mother just had a stroke and is bed ridden and the daughter is pregnant with her 2nd child. This was something so small but something so great came from it. It is true that by small and simple things, great things are come to pass.

Also I have to give an update on Emilze. We have seen a complete 180 with her. She is completely changing her life. For the past couple of weeks we have been thinking that we need to share the story about the man in the bible who asks Christ what he needs to do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him to leave everything behind. The point is the man can’t do it. Here you see the man really struggle between his love between God and the world. That described Emilze. But this past week she has completely changed. She is reading every night, praying more sincerely, and committing to follow the commandments more exactly. She is ready to give it all to the Lord. She came to the Sunday morning session of general conference and they said everything that we have been wanting to share with Emilze. Talk about inspiration. We must love God with all our heart, mind, might, and strength. This is the key to happiness. If we do not love him with everything we have, we leave room for us to have other Gods before us. Our first priority is God. Always will be that way. Emilze is realizing that and changing things in her life to more fully adopt that because she realizes that in that is where happiness lies.

Quynh also said another profound statement to us this week. This little Vietnamese lady is changing my life. We were having a lesson, talking about the scripture in Ether 12:4. Afterwards she turned to us and asked how we were going to change the world. She quickly said maybe you can write a book before we had time to respond. We just smiled and replied saying we don’t need to write a book because we already have one! The Book of Mormon. That is how we intend to change the world. Bringing the Book of Mormon to everyone. Little does she know how much she is growing my testimony. It is also funny because we are teaching another lady from Africa who speaks French. My mission is quickly turning into a 4-language mission.

Transfers are this week and I am staying here with Hermana Deloya!

Love you all!!

Keep smiling,

Hermana Parry

PS. Conference in Spanish so I don’t know if you want my notes because they are Spanglish.