Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Day in Houston

So this weather is a little crazy. On Friday we woke up to snow on our roofs. Cars were even so iced that people couldn’t go to work and school was even cancelled. I honestly was not expecting that down here. And I can’t really say that it was a pleasant surprise either. But with snow or heat, the work goes on! 

This week was amazing. I just am so blessed to be a missionary and be a part of so many people's lives. Often it just hits me how crazy of a thing it is that I do. Here I am a 20-year-old girl walking down the streets of Houston inviting others to repent and be baptized. The part that really always blows my mind is that people trust me. And not just people but more importantly God trusts me, as well as all His missionaries. What a great responsibility we as missionaries have!

For some reason this was one of the highlights for me this week: We had 20 minutes left of the night so we went to Wal-Mart to do some contacting. We prayed that we would be able to talk about the gospel with someone in those next 20 minutes. We had some success. There was this cute little Hispanic family buying diapers for their little girl who has Down syndrome. Hermana Baxter said hi to them but for some absurd reason we kept walking. After 3 steps we turned around to talk to them some more. The mom that Hermana Baxter had said gone down a different isle. The dad was there with his little girl. The little girl started having a huge tantrum but when she saw us she ran over to us. She lifted her hands up so that I would pick her up. Luckily I had a book of Mormon in my hand so I flipped it open. Almost immediately, she stopped crying, sat on the floor and just said Jesus in perfect clarity. What is the principle that we learn here? The Book of Mormon heals hearts because it is a true testament of Jesus Christ. 


This week we had special permission to have an extra zone meeting. This meeting was so inspired. Hermana Driesel talked about the authority and power of our calling. Elder Guiterrez talked about the worth of a soul. Elder Abadillo talked about how miracles have not ceased. Basically we this was a meeting where we upped all of our goals. There is so much potential in all of our areas and the Lord really has put us with the perfect companions to gather His chosen vessels. Anyways, this is the story that Elder Abadillo shared with us, upon reading it; I invite each of you to think, "Have miracles ceased?"

Exactly one month ago in Mexico, a companionship went to teach a family in this little pueblo. Little did this companionship know that this family they were to teach was direct descendants from the Lamanite tribe. They shared with this family the message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They shared with them the evidence of this Restoration with the Book of Mormon. This family was left so touched by this message that they went to their tribe leader/king and explained to them what had been taught. The king was also so touched by this that he brought all 234 families of this tribe together to invite them to fast and pray about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In that instant, an angel of the Lord appeared to these people to testify of the validity of this message. 

"Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men." (Moroni 7:29)

Angels are preparing the hearts of these people to accept this message. This is God's message to the world- The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. What are we doing to proclaim this to the world? God wants people to know, why else would he have commanded an angel to appear to 234+ families. This is real. 

I have a testimony that we have a God of miracles. I know that if miracles were to cease, our God dejaria de ser Dios. Y ese no es asi. He is in the details of our lives. He is more aware of us and our situations that we can even imagine. 

This training really made me want to baptize everyone. I realized that I only have 6 more months to call people to baptism. Yes when I go home I can still teach, befriend, and support. But when I go home, I can't baptize. 

We had a miracle come from this training. We were also trained on being persistent with our invitations. We talked about different scriptures that could be used to resolve any doubts. One of the most common doubts that we come across is "I don’t know enough." Let me just explain to you why I am so grateful for the Lord's timing with this training. The scriptures that we discussed were exactly what the Rodriguez family needed to hear last night to accept baptism: 

The Rodriguez family was found by the English Sisters that we live with. They referred us to them because the husband speaks puro espanol. They taught the first lesson with Maria (the wife) and she ended up coming to church the next Sunday. We taught them once and went over the Restoration and taught it to Elmer for the first time. Last night we went over the Book of Mormon. We brought Hermana Melendez with us (that was inspiration- perfect friendship and testimony for this chosen family). We talked about how it is evidence of God's love and also convincing evidence of the Restoration. We talked about how it goes hand and hand with the Bible. We even read Matthew 3 and 2 Nephi 31 to show how the Book of Mormon explains more of the principles and doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They loved that. We then invited them to be baptized and follow the example of Jesus Christ. Maria was just shaking her head up and down while the question was being asked. Elmer then turned to her and asked "haven’t you already been baptized?" She said "yes, but that was different." We then turned to Elmer and he said that he needs to study the bible more and learn more. That is when we turned to the scriptures: Acts 2:38, 41- the story of 3000 people being baptized in 1 day. If they can do it in one day, why couldn’t Elmer do it in a month? This got him thinking. USE THE SCRIPTURES! There is no other way to solve concerns. We must learn the scriptures. 

Bottom story short, the Lord is hastening His work. There are loads of other miracles that are happening throughout the mission. I know that this is the truth. It is the only truth. 

Please keep Zoe Guzman (she came to church btw), Juana Maria Guiterrez, Fransisco Juarez, Maria Oralia Gonzalez, Maria y Elmer Rodriguez in your prayers. This is the turning point for them and Satan will do everything to keep them from being happy. This is the road to happiness. Lets pray for them so they can enter in the way! This is a team effort! 

I love you all so much. 

Thanks for your continual support. 

Also, just a side note: I hit a year this Thursday... I have no idea how that happened. 

Keep smiling- I am!

Hermanita Parry

Monday, January 20, 2014

nothing happens until after the trial of your faith

Throughout our district this week, every companionship had a stinkin hard week. I was talking to our district leader last night and he was saying how him and his companion had only one lesson up until Sunday- this includes member visits, investigators, todo! They ended up having 4 lessons total for the week but wow. This was a rough week.

For us everything was falling through and everyone was denying us left and right. It was so defeating but we just kept plugging through and having faith that things would get better. On Saturday we had to ride bikes because we did not have any miles on our car. But that is when all the miracles starting happening. We made a commitment before leaving that we wouldn't let anyone pass us by and we DIDNT! The amazing thing was that we even had people yelling at us to come talk to them. We met this one guy Alvaro who is so prepared. He just radiates. He was so taken back when I started speaking Spanish to him. He asked some super deep questions, like: if God really loves us, why do children have to suffer. We started talking about the plan of salvation and the fallen world that we live in. The great part about this all was that he came to church! And he is going to come back again next week! He loves the fact that he is considered an investigator too. He thinks it is the coolest thing ever!

We also met this cute old lady who was outside sweeping her leaves. We took the broom from her and let her sit down. We got talking with her and said how she has been a widow for 40 years. We talked about eternal families and sang for her. The best part about that lesson was that she turned to me, grabbed my arm and said, Hermana, I am ignorant and I can't be saved in ignorance. I just grabbed her arm and said that is why we are here. We are here to help you learn. We then just started joking around and it was really great. Her name is Ofelia if you want to add her to your prayers!

Overall, this week we met some really great people and have a ton of potentials. The thing was that this little miracles didn't come until we exerted every single other effort. We all just have to keep plugging on and having faith in a better world. Things will eventually fall into place. God is busy working and preparing, He just has a very different time table and He wants to make sure we are worthy for these blessings.

The other amazing thing this week was Maria Guiterrez who is now going to be known as Juana, for some reason I am unsure of. Her son is the one who bore the amazing testimony about the validity of the Church of Jesus Christ and how it is the only true church. I am unsure if I told you about her yet. Anyways, she is currently investigating the pentecostes, catholica, and our church. We took la familia gaytan to our cita with them this week and wow. There was power in that lesson. She opened up and told her how her husband wants her to stay in the catholic church but she told us how she feels good reading the book of Mormon. She told us that her deepest desire is that her husband change. Hermano Gaytan bared testimony that if we want others to change we have to change first and be the example. He shared how this gospel has changed him. It was awesome. We are going to take him to Fransisco this week. Anyways, Juana is really starting to progress. And progress fast. She came to church on Sunday and looked great. She had a huge smile the whole time. Turns out she is best friends with Lidia Martinez who is one of my best friends too! What a small and happy world that we live in. Lidia is going to take Juana to clean the church building this Saturday. LOVE THEM!

Keep the prayers coming. Little by little we are seeing the blessings and we are so grateful!
Also, I love riding a bike. I am now praying my next area is solely a bike area. My comp will kill me if I make us ride bikes here every day haha

I LOVE YOU ALL! Enjoy the pics. Finally I can send some love.

Monday, January 13, 2014

FRANSISCO- thats fun to say

I really could just spend this whole email telling you how great Fransisco is because he makes me so so happy! I am so blessed to be able to work with him! The lessons that we had with him this week were just so real. I honestly don't know how to describe it other than that. They were so honest and pure. Some serious progress was made. He has a lot of concerns but we are working through them and knocking them down one by one. For example, last week he told us he wanted to see a baptism before being baptized. I have been praying and praying and praying that by some miracle there would be a baptism this week that he could attend. Well, my prayers were answered because there were 3 this past Saturday. 3 little eight year olds. He and Carol came to the baptism with their 2 kids. You could tell he liked it because during the ordinance, he stood up and maneuvered around so nothing would be obstructing his view. He also just paid so much attention during everything. He is just hungering for the truth and it is so fun to watch him in action. We also had ward conference this past Sunday and the stake president had a special class for all of the investigators at church. It was only him, the investigators, and our ward mission leader. We were not allowed in. Luckily we caught our ward mission leader after church so we could get all the details- you all know that I love details. He said that they sat in a circle and that President Call had everyone introduce themselves and then they went around the circle again and talked about why they were here at church/ what it was that made them interested to learn more. Fransisco talked about how the missionaries made him realize that he needs to make some changes in order to attain salvation. Anyways, he is amazing. He is growing closer to God. He still says he needs more illumination from God before he makes a decision about baptism but last night we had a super great lesson about prayer and how we are the initiators in our lives and illumination comes as we work. Long story short, he is praying about the 25 of January or the 1 of February. Please keep him in your prayers!

Lots of miracles have been happening here but there really could be so much more. Lately I feel stressed because I just think that there is so much more we can be doing so I am really trying to pray and get guidance so that this area can be booming and so that EVERYONE can feel the joy of the gospel. There is so much work to do. 

In other news, Zoe finally prayed about Jose Smith. It’s been a long time coming with this one. When we asked her what her answer was all she said was, "yo quiero bautizarme." The church is true! 

We met some really stellar people this week. God is so good to us when we consecrate our efforts to Him- and believe me this is a constant consecration. I just have really seen how when we try to become our purpose, everything falls together. Another example: 

So we had an old investigator that we wanted to contact. She wasn’t home but we decided to stay in the cul-de-sac and find some friends to teach. We went up to this 5-year-old girl and she went in to get her mom. Her mom is very set in her catholic ways but we had a good discussion about our purpose and the restoration. When she was about to say her goodbyes we asked to pray with her. This caught her attention and we were invited right in to her house. Her husband arrived just in time for the prayer. I said it and then she had some questions about la virgencita y todo eso. We explained how we believe she is the mother of Christ but we believe that it is through Christ we are saved. We then were able to read from the Book of Mormon. After that was done, we asked for referrals and they gave us two! Both their neighbors. The first one was not interested.. yet! But the second one invited us to share a message with her and then began to tell us how she has a Book of Mormon and has read half of it. Um, that doesn’t happen everyday! So that was a huge miracle. Taught me you just have to keep going and going and then go some more until you reach your goal. 

Things are great! I am happy! I miss you and love you lots!

Keep Smiling, 

Hermana Parry

Monday, January 6, 2014

it was a stellar week

I hate when I get to the computer and cant think about what just happened this week. I do remember that it was a stellar week. I actually had three different companions this week. I said bye to Hermana Tanner and while I was waiting for my new companion to get here I was with Hermana Carter. But now I have my real companion: Hermana Baxter. 

Can I just say how much I love training! Especially Hermana Baxter. She is great! Let me just give you an example of how purpose focused she is: 

So her first morning here we were trying to work to help her memorize the baptismal invitation so she could extend it later that day- we had planned to have powerful first lessons with a bunch of potential investigators and referrals. So she nailed it and in our first lesson of the day we went to visit Martita. I suppose Hna Baxter forgot she was a member because when the spirit was really strong in the lesson, she invited Martita to be baptized. I love her fire to invite and help people receive baptism. She basically invites everyone, its awesome!

Louetta Este is just such a great area. This is my fourth transfer here and so much has changed. I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed I feel to be part of this work and help change lives and heal hearts through the atonement. Anyways, let me just tell you a little about Fransisco Juarez. Other than he is the coolest man on the planet and I feel like we are kindred spirits, I just love him so much. Yesterday they didn’t come to church because little Adrian is sick so we went to visit them. We had an amazing lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have this really cool steps game that is a super great visual to help people see the path that God has provided for each and every one of us to arrive in the Celestial Kingdom with Him once again. We talk about faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Anyways, in the middle of the game, he turns and says I'm missing some of these steps. I’m not going to be able to make it if I don’t follow this gospel. BOOM! It hit him and the spirit really testified that he needs to get baptized. We also just talked a lot about how that will strengthen him and his difficulties with drinking. He really opened up to us and told us all of his concerns- things that his wife didn’t even know. He is my new best friend and I am so lucky to be working with him!

I swear, every week I have experiences of learning something new that totally makes me want to change and be better. The more I am out here the more I realize that there is just so much to life and I am so grateful for the gospel that helps me know how to progress and make life its fullest. Life is one whole journey of progression and we must always strive to get better or else the only option is to digress. With that being said, this week I learned a lot about pleading with the Lord. For me I just realized that I have to plead to be an effective instrument in the work. I guess I don’t have to go in too much more detail than that, just know that if you can't live life lackadaisically. As a missionary, I can't just go around but I have to be diligent and pleading 24/7 that His spirit can be with me so that I can do what He wants me to do, be what He wants me to be, and say what He wants me to say. 

As usual I just want to end with my testimony. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am also so grateful to have the opportunity to teach people about Jesus Christ and His atonement. I know that Jesus Christ didn’t have a toe-dipping experience when He suffered for us. He took on all of our lives and more so that he could fully feel our heartbreaks, sorrows, pains, sicknesses, and afflictions. It is only through Him that we can be healed, strengthened, and exalted. I am so grateful for Him. I pray that we will always think about Him and radiate His light and hope to all we come in contact with. In Christ, we can have the hope for a better world. 

I love you all!

Keep Smiling, 

Hermanita Parry
My little Jaslyn!
First time ever raking leaves...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

LOTS OF CHANGES! Ps. We also found Disneyland here this week in Houston!

MAKING TAMALES ON CHRISTMAS!!! Look how adorable enrique is! I love this little man!!!! I also die that Hermana Carol was trying to put my hair in a mono so I wouldn't ruin her maza haha
Pues, I am training again!! Hermana Tanner is unfortunately leaving me. I am so heartbroken, but I love training so I am kind of excited too. It is very bittersweet. She is an amazing missionary and has some great things in store for her. Our time was too short but it was just what we both needed. We have both been healed and strengthened this transfer. This morning she shared with me a cute story, she was telling me how she met me during the summer when she had first gotten here and the thought came into her mind that she wanted to be my companion. And look, we were! I was her very last one! God is so good to us and He truly is helping each of us progress and reach our potential. These past 6 weeks my little current bush has started to grow again and become what God wants it to become. Ah, I love her and I have truly been blessed from her service!

I am sorry to say this but this definitely had to be one of the best Christmas seasons ever. I love being a missionary!!! There were so many Christmas miracles but I only have time to share 2 so here you go: 

Well a few weeks ago we got a call from Hermana Alvarez telling us that she had just done her visiting teaching and visited with Hermana Acevedo. Hermana Acevedo and her husband went through the temple about a year ago and after that immediately went inactive. This past summer, they told the missionaries that they did not want anyone to visit them. So the first miracle was that they got in with this family! Anyways, during this visit, their neighbor Fransisco was home and he was intrigued with the lesson. Hermana Alvarez is an ex-misionera entonces I imagine she was stellar. Apparently during one part of the lesson Fransisco turned to her and asked if she really knew that this was the one true church and she just bore testimony that she did and told him that he could come to know that as well. Well when Hermana Driesel came down here for an exchange a few weeks ago we tried contacting them and they told us not to come back. I was super sad because they have three little children who are just beautiful and radiate light! We however, then tried finding Fransisco because he seemed golden but when we stopped by he wouldn’t answer the door. Well this week we felt like we needed to go see the Acevedo family. So on Thursday, Hermana T and I stopped by. We said a prayer right before and asked that we would also be able to meet Fransisco that night. When we knocked the door Hermano received us con gusto! We lead us straight to the living room and to our surprise, FRANSISCO WAS SITTING ON THE COUCH! We had a really great lesson about Christ and His mission on the earth. The spirit was so strong. We even got an invite to come back the following day. They are going to get re-activated and Fransisco will be baptized. It was so awesome!

This next miracle also has a lot of back story. I just feel so blessed that Heavenly Father is letting us see the whole miracle unravel. IT IS AWESOME! Anyways, when Hermana Deloya was still here we met a man in Pacos panaderia that bought us a ton of bread. He lived in Louisiana but told us to visit his brother and sister who live on Derby Hall because they need Christ in their lives. So the next day we went to contact this family but the number of the house didn’t exist so we were just tracting and talking to everyone. There were these two little girls playing outside and we left them with tarjetas de cristo with our phone numbers on them. Well fast-forward a little bit. The day before the thanksgiving dinner at the church, a man calls us and says that he is a member and needs the information to our church. Him and his family have just moved here from Monterrey. We told him and he and his family have been super active and golden ever since. Welp on Christmas Eve we stopped by because the bishop had some presents that he wanted us to drop off for them. We asked for his address and he told us some house on Derby Hall. Well luckily I knew exactly where that was. When Hermana Tanner and I were pulling up to the house, I just started freaking out. I already knew who lived there, those two little girls who we gave our number too! I never asked this Hermano how he got our number but when we walked in, we saw the tarjeta on the wall next to the Virgencita. This family that they are living with is super catholic but how amazing that through them, the Amaya family found the church!! 

We also met another part member family that we haven’t been able to meet since I've been here. THEY ARE MY NEW FAVORITES! I left that lesson just so happy because they are already my best friends. With the Lord, we are going to help them get back to church and baptize the dad. 

Fransisco Juarez is amazing! This man is Carol Juarez's husband who is a member. We had a lesson with her and he was just sitting on the couch but he couldn’t keep himself from listening. It was cool to see how the gospel was just luring him in. The light of Christ is real! 

I am very happy. I am so ready for this new transfer. We are going to work so hard to try to get one baptism a week! 


Keep smiling, 

Hermana Parry

I always just want to thank EVERYONE for the goodies that you have all sent this Christmas season. I have also loved all the Christmas cards. Our fridge looks great! Thanks again. 

But really, I am soo happy! It is a great day here in Houston! 

Please keep praying for the Texas Houston mission! Love you! Ok, BYE!