Monday, March 31, 2014

"Katy" Parry

March 31, 2014

So my new area is Katy and yes I am on cloud 9. This has been a stellar week. God is so good to me!

First off I just have to tell you about my last night in Louetta. The picture enclosed is from the last lesson that I had. We did a noche de hogar with some of my favorites (please tell me you can point out Francisco- and yes he is smiling. this foto is already hanging on my wall in my new apartment). Anyways, it was a really special night. Obviously I was a mess when I bore my final testimony. We talked about desires. For a fantastic talk, look up, "according to the desire of (our) hearts" by Elder Maxwell. Basically I just know that nothing is too hard for God and I know that if we have even a little particle of desire to be good people, God will work with it. It is not done in a single moment, like Elder Maxwell says, but rather it is a process of time. I know that through the atonement, our greatest desires can be turned into a reality. We just need to have that desire. So start fueling it!

I think one reason I am so grateful for the mission is the passion that it has given me for the gospel. I love it! I thought I had always loved it and been grateful for it but now, wow its different. I mean, I really love it. I am so happy to know and feel the truth on a daily basis. It is true joy.

I bet you are all just dying to hear how Katy is. Well let me tell you. Its amazing. It is completely different than anywhere else I have served and I am so glad because I really think I need this place. The ward is unbelievably strong. The women here are inspirational. I haven't even been here a week yet I already feel like I know how to be a better wife, mother, friend, leader, and disciple. Yesterday during testimony meeting, it was only hermanas that spoke and they shook the ground. Literally. It was one of the most powerful meetings I have been too. I am so glad to be here. The majority of the members are from Colombia or Venezuela which is so fun. There is this one lady from El Salvador who is already my best friend. I don't know how I always get attached to them. The Spanish here is different. It is beautiful- very elegant and emotional. I realize that might sound a little weird but I don't know how else to put it. One reason I love this ward so much is because I feel like these Hermanas are my kindred spirits. We literally are the same people and its fun. I haven't laughed so much my entire mission. It is going to be a great next few months. The missionary work here is different but I am so excited for it. The investigators that I have meet are amazing. And yes, they are already my best friends. There is this one family that Hna Tanner found (yes Hna Tanner served here, how perfect is that) who I am obsessed with. They are the Moreno family. Keep an eye out for them in letters because good things are about to happen.

My first day here a member gave me crepes. How did they know? Literally, I think that was a tender mercy from God telling me this is where I am suppose to be. There is also a keyboard in our apartment, when I saw that I just about cried. God knows even the LITTLEST desires of my heart. There is also a little lady here who is obsessed with sailboats. Honestly, I have never seen anything like it. She talked to us for an hour straight about sailboats and the ocean. It reminded me of Kayla and her little phase when she was obsessed- except this was 100% more.

This week I have really gained an even deeper testimony and appreciation for the sacrifice of my older brother Jesus Christ. There is a man in my ward who was excommunicated for some reason. He was just re-baptized a few months ago. Last night at dinner he told me his whole life story. Never once did he separate himself from God. Sure he made some bad decisions and yes he was a little too prideful to admit to them. But he testified that the spirit changed his heart. Through a modern day profeta, he received direct revelation from God that he needed to start his repentance process. So he didn't even wait for the conference to be over to find his bishop. He still went to church every week during this trial. He just was not permitted to participate- not even read a scripture, sing a hymn, nada! I saw how that broke him when he was recounting this experience. By the end of the story, I was so grateful for Christ's sacrifice just for this hermano. He is a different person because Christ paid the price. He is the most humble man I have ever met. He is now a teacher over the young men. Him and his wife will be sealed in the temple this December. I know the atonement is real. It works when we truly let the spirit work on us. It is not easy. The hermano even testified of it, but he and I can assure you that it is possible because Christ lives.

I am still in the same stake as the Louetta ward so I was fortunate enough to go watch the women broadcast in my old building and see my many mothers there. Afterwards, at 9 o’clock was the Acuna baptism. I literally thought that I would not be able to stay because I live 1 hour away and a member was had taken us to the broadcast. But again my pray was answered and 5 minutes before we were going to start heading home with the member, my old ward missionary leader caught me and said that he and his wife would be more than happy to take me and my companion back to the apartment after the baptism so that I could stay. Without a doubt that was the kindest gesture anyone has ever shown me. I got to see Collette's dad baptized. I also go to hear Yesenia speak at the baptism!!! That was the cherry on top because I literally had no idea that was going to happen. As missionaries we sang Nearer My God to Thee while they were changing and when I looked out to the crowd I just lost all composure. I was no help singing that song. The spirit was so strong. I know God lives. We are His children. His church is on the earth today.

This feels like the longest email I have ever written. I have more to say too but I think this suffices me. I am extremely happy. I know I always say that but it is true. And even if it is hard to believe, I am happier every day. The 18 months to be a missionary so to help me remember that happiness truly does come from service. There is no other source
that we have in this life that invites God in like service. So go serve! I promise you will be happier.

I know that I am in God's hands and there is no place I would rather be.

Keep smiling,

Hermanita "Katy" Parry

Monday, March 24, 2014

Last email from Louetta

I AM GETTING TRANSFERRED! Tomorrow Hna Baxter will just kick me to the curb and my new companion will pick me up. I feel a ton of peace though! I am really excited to meet more people and see what God has in store for me. However, at the same time, it is so hard to leave these people. I am so attached. And we all know I have separation issues. I have had some sweet experiences though with a lot of these people within the past 24 hours though so all is well. I am going to just keep this message sweet and simple and fill you in on the highlights this week. 

1. COLLETTE'S DAD WAS MARRIED TO NANCY! The ward really pulled through and we had a great free wedding! It was amazing. I was laughing with Collette's dad right after the ceremony and he said something to the effect of, its all your fault! You told us that there would be more couples but its just us! He was so happy though the whole night. They are in love! And they are so excited to get baptized. At their wedding we talked a little about the temple and he made sure that I come back so that I can dance at the party afterwards. Literally kills me that I am not able to dance with these people right now. Honestly, it was my favorite wedding I have ever been too. The spirit was so strong because they knew that they were just doing this so that they could prepare for the bigger picture. The other weddings have been nice but the couple hasnt had a clear goal that THEY WILL be entering the temple in one year. I am so excited for them. Sunday at 5 will be their baptism. 

2. I took Grammy's name to the temple and did all the work! We woke up super early so that we would have time to do everything before our session. There is no doubt in my mind that we are in the Lord's church. This cannot be the work of man. There is just no way. But the really sweet thing about this experience was that during the confirmation, the worker had to stop because the spirit was so strong. He literally could not keep going. Afterwards he asked me how I knew this person and I told him that She was on of my great grandmothers on my grandma's side. He said I knew you two were related! She was literally there with me the whole day in the temple and I know that she will keep helping me here on the mission. Ironically this was all done on grammy's birthday. Cool huh? 

3. Francisco told me I will be the first person he invites to his baptism.

4. I rode 21 miles on a bike this past Wednesday. Best day ever! This day there was a man that told me I look like Shakira? I dont quite understand that. 

5. An Hermana from H5 was eating pupusas in a little shop in my area and by no coincidence at all I walked in there to use the bathroom. We ended up eating with her and it was so happy. Hna Baxter finally tried pupusas. 

So those are just a few of the highlights. It was a great week. I love weddings! I love baptisms! I love being a missionary! Life is soo good. 

Keep Smiling!

Hermanita Parry


so happy!

Collette's Parents wedding...All for the big picture!


covered in corn

Gave a talk

A lady gave me the best gift ever a free 80's dress!

P-day Volleyball with the district
Early morning temple visit.  We rode 21 miles on our bike to get here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"yo senti padre"

Yes I am a title repeater but the person who said it was not Collette so I figured I could get away with it. It was actually Collette's step-mom who is not a member who was explaining to us the first time she felt the influence of the Holy Ghost. I thought it was so amazing that they both said that because I have never ever heard anyone else put it that way. 

Anyways, to give you a little background information, we started teaching Collette's dad and stepmother this part week. They don’t live in our area but the first lesson we had with them was amazing. Bottom story short: the day after our cita, they went and bought their marriage license so they could get married on the 21. Remember how I told you we are having a ward activity- a free marriage. Well it is sure a good thing we planned that because if we hadn’t, they probably would not have been so urgent. As of right now they are the only ones that are getting married but we are hoping the Francisco and Carol jump aboard as well. I am getting off topic though. Let me tell you about the lesson we had with Collette's parents: 

So we had a really cool object lesson to teach Collette about the atonement. It failed the first time, and never in my whole mission has that happened, and so we had to try it again. After the object lesson we talked about becoming clean and starting a new life. But we also talked about how our perspectives and feelings literally can change as well because of the atonement. That really caught Collette's stepmom's attention. Hermana Baxter turned to me and asked if she should invite them to be baptized and I just shook my head. She then muttered a silent prayer so that the opportunity to bring up baptism was come smoothly if it was the Lord's will. Within 10 seconds, it got brought up. The whole lesson was so perfect and so inspired. They will also be getting baptized on the 29th of March. Collette just start jumping up and down. The husband was ready to get baptized this weekend buuuuttt Collette is in Mexico right now and I know it would break her heart if she weren’t there. I mean, she was the one who started this all anyways. It is amazing the influence one 9 year old can have. 

Some more progress is that both Zoe Guzman and Francisco fasted this Sunday with us. Francisco loved it! At church my stomach and Zoe's stomach was talking with each other the whole time. It was hilarious. But I really think that their fasting and praying is going to take them where the Lord wants them. Francisco was so cute on Sunday because he was just going up to everyone and shaking his or her hands. KEEP PRAYING! This is the weekend that things need to happen for him. Family, do not let a single prayer go by where you do not include him in your prayer. We can make this happen with our faith. I already know God wants this so now lets just combine efforts and make this happen. Ok thanks! 

Transfers are in 1 week. A ver que pasa. 

Another great thing about this week was just that Yesenia is so happy!!! I have never seen someone smile so much. She is a completely different person. I mean she was amazing before but now she is just wonderful. We are hoping to take her and Keishla to the temple this week. 

We have some pretty great expectations for this week as you can tell. 

This past week was honestly one of my favorites. Miracles happened but I think it was one of my favorites because we worked. And we worked hard! I can honestly testify that working is the key to everything. Fall on your knees and then get up and go. That is how things start happening. 

In a letter I got from dad this week he said that a mission is a lot like a foreign film, one you feel like you understand it, its over. I have to agree. This week I felt like I was actually fulfilling my missionary purpose and everything was different. I cant explain it because its mainly a filling by I am so happy because I know that if we do things the Lord's way, we are in turn blessed and have a little glimpse of the happiness that awaits us. 

I love Louetta. I remember when I first got here I had very little hope that I was going to enjoy my time here but wow, God is good. I know He is aware of us. 

Keep Smiling, 

Hermana Parry

Pacos is getting so big that they now opened up more parking. Pan dulce anyone? 
Ok so this is Sister Flannery, one of my roommates. I love her to death. Her and her companion came home with a platter of crawfish so we had some fun. I definitely could not get myself to eat one though. 
This is lengua o sea TONGUE. And yes, we ate it. Do you see the taste buds? 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Yesenia y Keishla

Well as you just saw from the pictures Yesenia y Keishla were baptized this past weekend. It was literally a miracle. We had not been able to see them for about 2 weeks because of some family issues that they were having. Anyways, they had gone to the stake conference this past week and luckily I caught them so that I could see if we could stop by this week. She said Wednesday. When we went over on Wednesday they told us that they had been reading and are so excited to get baptized. We set another appointment for the following day to teach them the rest of the commandments and have the elders conduct the interview. When we walked in that day, they were studying together at the table. They were just glowing. We went over the remainder of the material and they were both just so willing and ready to leave their old lives behind and dedicate themselves completely to the Lord. The Elders then showed up and conducted the interview. Afterwards, Keishla y Yesenia were glowing. They were so different. Keishla is usually so shy but she was coming up to me and joking around and keeping a conversation going. Usually it is definitely the other way around. Yesenia was just so determined.

The baptismal service was amazing. We pulled it off. It was a very last minute baptism. In the back of our minds we were still hoping that some how it would all pull through. In our weekly goals, we still had 2 baptisms and confirmations written down. We had no idea how it was going to happen but look it did. It was a testimony builder to me that God is in control. There is nothing too hard for Him. This is His work and He prepares His children. It taught me not to be stressed but to just have faith in Him and everything will work out.

Obviously I loved when they actually got baptized on Saturday but there was another really cool, really small, tender mercy that occurred. When we went to take pictures before the service, I lead them to the foyer and pointed to some pictures of Christ that we could stand next to. The one I didn't point to was the one they chose. We had to move the couch and everything. But if you look at the pictures you will notice that it is the one of Christ calling his disciples to leave their next and follow Him. Well that describes to you Keishla and Yesenia. It was absolutely perfect. Now I don't know if they really realized that but I thought it was really neat. They have hearkened to the Savior's call and they are following Him.

In turn they are just glowing! On Sunday when they were confirmed members, they were so happy and filled with the spirit. Yesenia, in the second class, was even flipping open and finding the scriptures herself without my help!! It just goes to show how the spirit teaches us. In her blessing it talked a lot about how the scriptures will be her rock and guide and how she will grow to love and turn to them in every situation. I am so excited. We are hoping to work with the rest of the family as well!

Transfer calls are on the 23rd. I think I am feeling another transfer here. Maybe I'll just die in Louetta. I NEED TO SEE FRANCISCO AND CAROL MARRIED!!!! Keep praying for them, we are seeing them tonight.

Also we have permission to do family history work in our mission once a week. For the past three weeks I have been trying to find information on one relative and I finally found it. I am hoping and praying I can find her parents now. I am obsessed! The spirit of Elijah is powerful. The joy I felt was unreal when I found this information. I also have some names I am going to take to the temple when it reopens in 2 weeks! Hermana Galvan and I started dancing when we found the information. She is an expert of South America ancestry and probably one of my favorites here. Man, it was a good day. I LOVE MY FAMILY!

Keep smiling,

Hermanita Parry

Monday, March 3, 2014

"No es un dicho, es la manera del Senor."

This weekend we had stake conference. IT WAS AMAZING! Elder Pino from the Seventy came. He is hilarious. To open up, he explained how we served a mission in Argentina and when he got there everyone asked him if he was from Venezuela. With much pride he answered yes and then they would all immediately reply, its because you sound like the people on all the novelas. As we were all laughing he then clarified that if was not for the language but for the accent. I don’t know if any of you will find that funny but it just about killed me. Ok anyways, getting back to business. On Saturday night we had the adult session but it was also open to youth 12 and above and all missionaries. So we were able to go. It was fantastic! All about my favorite topic, missionary work!!! He was talking about the Lord's way of doing missionary work. Honestly, this stake is all so excited. The stake president even stood up and said that he could sense that every person there in that room has had a name come into their mind and you need to work with the missionaries to help that person come unto Christ. It was powerful. 

We unfortunately had to drop Maria Gutierrez. We had a really awesome family home evening with her and the Gaytans on Monday and she seriously felt the spirit- just like she always does. She just told us she needs space for a little. She knows its true though so she will come back soon. She is being attacked from all sides and really just needs prayers. Please pray for her!!! 

We also had zone conference this week. It really just hit me in that conference that we are all representatives of Jesus Christ. It made me love all these people that I serve with even more. I am so thankful for the mission because not only have a met all these stellar people from Houston, but I am had the opportunity to meet and work with amazing missionaries. I just love all these new found forever friends. It makes me so happy! It is unlike anything else to know that we are all united in our Father's business. 

I am also so grateful for my mission because I can see how I am converting more to my Savior. And thank goodness because I have realized that the conversion required for those who wish to enter in the Celestial Kingdom is far more than I ever thought. It is more than merely testifying of the truth. I am so grateful that God has placed the way for me to become what He wants me to become. I am understanding more that it is not just knowing the right words to say in a given situation but understanding the words that you say.  

Interesting point of view, remember that Satan does not have a veil like we do. Therefore, he remembers how amazing we are. When you feel down, remember why and where that comes from! He works hardest on those valiant and pure souls. He knows who you were and he will do everything to keep you from remembering and feeling your divine worth. 

Also pray for Carol and Francisco that they will take advantage of the free wedding we are having the 21st. Also pray Yesenia and Keishla will be ready for baptism on the 15th- we are pushing it back. 

I know that the Savior wants us to be powerful.  I know that God can give us great power. I know that I have been given power not only in my mission, but throughout my whole life; the extent I don’t even comprehend in this moment. I am grateful I have a Heavenly Father whose only desire is my return back to Him. 

Love you all! Sorry this is all so random. But I am so scatterbrained right now. This was a good week! Real hard but we are not giving up. We are having spiritual experiences here in Louetta so we must be doing something right. The results will one day come! 

Keep Smiling, 

Hermana Parry

PS. WORK WITH YOUR WARD MISSIONARIES NOW!!!! That is the Lord's way. The work is hastening is not a catch phrase. Its real. Get to work. There are souls that need to be fed.