Monday, June 30, 2014

Plan of Salvation

This was the best week of my whole entire mission. I already know I am not even going to be able to begin to describe even the smallest amount of joy, peace, and love I feel. But I will sure try.

This week was just jam-packed! I am so happy with my Heavenly Father because He really is just so sweet to me. He knows me and He loves me. I know that His timing is so perfect and so specific to my needs and me. Its incomprehensible how absolutely perfect He is.

Ok with that little introduction; let me get going on to the good stuff. WHICH IS SO MUCH! I'm just going to start out by giving little random details.

Our little reactivated friend, Anita, decided she is finally going to take her husbands name to the temple and they are going to get sealed! She also is getting her patriarchal blessing! She is on fire.

Hermana Pena has been praying this week! We are going shopping this week to find her a white dress for her baptism because she does not wear anything that has been used... Such a diva! She is doing really well. It all changed when we shared Alma 33:21 with her. We flat out told her she wasn't looking towards God because she wasn't doing the small things. It was a powerful lesson because we were so bold and simple with her.

Hermana Manuelita said one of the funniest things ever; "la gente espera que lleguen las bendiciones envolvidas en tortillas de arina." (People hope that blessings will come wrapped in flour tortillas). The point was that we have to work to receive blessings! Amen to that.

So this is a funny story that an Hermano shared with us. He was saying how last week he was mowing the lawn but was wearing shorts that kept falling down. Every minute or so he was having to pull up his shorts and try to get situated to start going again. He went on like that for an 1 1/2 until he finished the yard. The smart thing would have been for him to grab a belt from inside so that he could have gone forward more effectively and without such a burden. Well he related it to repentance. He said how in that moment he realized how if we will just buckle down and repent completely and sincerely all at once, we could move forward happily and free from burden. I have the biggest testimony that when we really do turn to God in humility and repent, our hearts and perspectives can be changed immediately and we can press forward with freedom. It is beautiful. I loved that little story because man, that would be so annoying! Especially when a belt was within his reach. Do we realize that a belt is within our reach too? It is the atonement. Take the time necessary and repent so that you can go forward in a way that is more enjoyable and effective.

Ok so now that all that is out of the way this is where I have to start to attempt to explain everything. I mean I could just write one sentence- I AM A CHILD OF GOD. And that really explains it but I want you to know how I really came to know and feel that in a different light this week.

On Friday, we had the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the temple with President and Sister Pingree to say goodbye to them. We did a session with them and the Temple President and the Matron. Before the session, President Crane asked us to ponder the question- who are you? Afterwards we talked about it as well as having an open Q&A session with him. Wow. The whole session was incredible. I love the temple. I know that it is the Lord's ours. Which means, it is our house too! I know that there we are instructed on high. We learn and feel who we really are. I know that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have been since the beginning! It was amazing to be able to feel and recognize that this past week in a way completely different than before. I also learned what that really means for me and the things that I have to do in my life to fulfill that. There is so much I want to say but I don't even know if you can understand my thoughts via email. Ill tell you in a couple weeks.

The tender mercy was that after everything the Temple President stopped me to grab my hand and talk to me for a little bit. We talked and it was so special. He gave me the admonition to just go and do now. President Pingree also said something when we said goodbye that just made me know how conscientious our Heavenly Father is of each of us. I am so ready to work for the rest of my life and for all of the eternities. Man, the gospel is amazing. You will never stop learning and you will never stop progressing. It is alive! It is so exciting!  

I know that God is the same today, yesterday, and forever. I know that because of that, we can have complete trust in Him. I know that He loves us and all that He does is to bring to pass our eternal life and our immortality. He wants us to feel loved and know of our divinity! I am so grateful for the opportunities that He gave me this week to feel it. It not only has changed me but it is also helping change others. Let me explain.

After the temple, that night we had another lesson with our miracle friend- Alicia/ Araceli. We taught the plan of salvation. I think its safe to say that was the most natural and beautiful lesson I have ever been apart of. The spirit was so strong. It was all so natural because Hermana Saenz and I had just come from the temple and we really understood who we are and the plan God really does have! In the lesson our little amiga could even understand who divinity because she could feel it from the spirit. At the end of the lesson she told us how it was interesting that we focused so much on baptism. The really cool thing is that we probably only said one sentence about baptism but because the spirit was so strong and really was the spirit in that lesson, she was being taught by the spirit that baptism is her next step. How absolutely amazing is that? That is how teaching should go. We just set up the environment for our friends to be taught by the spirit. She doesn't have a date yet but she definitely is progressing towards one! I love her.

As you can tell from the pictures, I went to my very first sealing! That was probably one of the coolest moments of my life. I was so happy for this couple! I am still happy for this couple.

The Hermana who was sealed is from Colombia and during her reception the Colombia vs Uruguay game was going on. They made the restaurant turn on the TVs so that everyone could watch the game. They even had the flags. It was the craziest wedding I have ever been too. I love the picture of the Hermana cheering when they scored one of their goals. It was out of control. These people and their soccer.

I’m really happy to be part of the work of salvation. That's really what it is. SALVATION! That is a really big deal. I pray that we all develop Christ-like love so that we truly desire salvation for our brothers and sisters. We would do best to really love our neighbors as we love our siblings. That love really can change the world.




Keep Smiling,

Hermanita Parry

Celebrating 20!

Last Temple Visit with my Mission President and his wife.

Gooo America!!! turns out they lost...awkward 

this is my favorite picture. she is so happy and excited
Wow what a great moment!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Alisia and the Atonement

This week was fantastic! WE FOUND A NEW DOMINGA! Let me fill you in on her story:

As you might recall I had to give a talk one of my first Sundays here in Westgreen. In the talk I told people to come get to know us missionaries and made it clear that we are ready to teach their friends. Well una Hermana came up to me and told me she has a neighbor who has just been recently divorced. She met with missionaries about 2 years ago but because of her husband, she had to stop meeting with them. Well with the divorce, this lady- Alisia, has been in a very dark place. When I was with Hermana Townsend we made multiple attempts with Hna Lancheros to meet her friend. ALL of them fell through. But one day, once Hermana Saenz was finally here, when we were stopping by Hna Lanchero's home, she took us over to introduce us. Alisia could not receive us and made it clear she was very catholic. Well we didn't give up. Hna Saenz and I just felt like we needed to show her some love. So we heart attacked her house with scriptures and would always pray for her. 3 weeks later, this past Friday, we stopped by and she let us in immediately. We sat down and had a powerful first lesson with her about the Restoration. She has a ton of great questions- which makes teaching really exciting. The whole lesson she was just smiling at us when we would speak. I felt like she could feel and understand how much we loved our Savior and knew that this message will change her life for the better. She offered the last prayer and it was the most tender and heart felt prayer ever. And apparently it was the first time she had ever prayed aloud. In her prayer she talked about how empty she has been feeling and how she needs to know more about God. She was literally pleading. She then proceeded to give thanks for us because she knew that God had walked in with us that evening. She totally recognizes that we are on God's errand. The best part came after her prayer when we sat there and testified that the message of the Restoration will fill the emptiness that she has in her heart. She can be freed from her cargas and her sorrows really can be swallowed up in the joy of her Savior. She flat out said she would come to church. She can’t deny anything what we said because it really came from so deep within us. I am excited to help her in her path from darkness to light. That is the best and most rewarding part of the mission. So happy that we finally have someone to teach! Nothing happens in missionary work until we have someone and now we do!

Isn’t it crazy to think about how 18-21 year olds are helping families and individuals make changes that will effect all their eternities? It really would not be possible if this were not the Lord's work. To see people's hearts on the mend because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ has blessed me so much. It has put me more firmly on the path of conversion. Seeing even one-person change makes everything worth it. I don't think I really understood that phrase as completely as I do now. I saw it with Dominga and now I am seeing it again with Alisia. I don't know if Alisia will get baptized when I am here but we are sure praying and helping her get to that point because we know that is how she can be completely free and participate in her salvation.

For me personally I have learned this week that just as important as the things that we do- aka the covenants we make- is the type of person we become. It doesn't matter how much good we do in this life if we didn't become something better because of it. We do certain things because it changes our behavior. We can’t just be members that go to church every Sunday. Rather we have to be Disciples of Christ, which is a daily decision. We don't need more members rather we need people who live the gospel. Lets be those people! The incentive is found in Matthew 18 when Christ says that only the people who become like little children will be worthy of His kingdom. Looks like I have some work to do because I know I am definitely not there yet. But I am repenting LOTS and I can see little changes. Actually, I can feel like changes. It is amazing to be able to see how repentance really does allow us to access the enabling power of the atonement. Repentance enlarges our abilities to do good and be better.

I know that the Atonement is for all of us. I know that we all have an equal opportunity to access it and find happiness. I am grateful for the light and hope that Christ offers us. I am grateful to teach people how to access it. Today I reread that talk you sent me mom and I just love the part that says:
Now I went to the mission field thinking that testifying of the restoration was my whole mission.  No!  That’s incidental.  The divinity of Jesus Christ is our main message.
I am grateful for that. The Restoration occurred so that we could more fully have the atonement in our lives. Everything comes back to the atonement.

Keep smiling,

Hermana Parry

"The cost of regret far exceeds the price of discipline."
"Did you make the most of your day you just lived?"
"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail."
"Don't settle for mediocrity!"
"Once you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen."
"What are you wanting to accomplish?"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"We are not made for endings"

I have to keep reminding myself of that inspired phrase from President Utchdorf because Dominga is out of the country now. She is probably landing in Mexico right now as I am typing this! Her flight left super early this morning so we had to say our goodbyes yesterday. Honestly, I was feeling so strong when we got to her house! It wasn't until Dominga bore her testimony with us that I completely lost it. She kept saying how she will never be able to repay us or thank us for all that we did for her, but really, its al contrario. My testimony of the validity of this church has been strengthened just by seeing the fruits of the gospel in the life of Dominga. I am a better disciple of Christ, because of her. It is incredible. Everyone was edified in this process. There is no way that this gospel cannot be the truth! She testified so tenderly how this gospel has given her light and hope in her life.  She said that she is going to try to end up in Utah or California with her daughter someday. She promised this wouldn't be the last time we see her. She is one remarkable lady. I have never met someone so strong. I kind of feel like a mother in a way because I just saw the whole process. Her conversion was fast but it is so deep and it is only going to get deeper! I am so confident that she is going to do great things in her little branch in Mexico. I am not worried about her one bit. I am just so sad we have to be separated!

We had a wonderful time at the temple with her this past week. She ended up taking 6 of her family names. Anyways, these are the highlights from the temple. 1. When we got there, she just lit up and clapped her hands. It was just how I imagine the people at the waters of Mormon when Alma is describing the baptismal covenants. You could see that it was the deepest desire of her heart to enter the house of our Lord. 2. When she walked in, she described that something hit her so strong and it felt like it just couldn't fit. She had the confirmation that this was the house of the Lord. 3. When she did baptisms for her grandma, cousin, and aunt, she said that she had this energy inside and that every time she was lifted from the water, she saw a light above her. 4. When we were leaving, she turned to me and asked how we were able to find all the names to prepare them for the temple- originally; we had only had 3 names. Well I just said, God is good huh and she grabbed my hand and squeezed it. It was in that moment she promised me that when she got to Mexico she was going to do some investigations because she had remember some other family members who have already passed away when she was in the temple. For me, my favorite part was the whole 2 hours we were there. But it was special to sit there and watch someone do the ordinance of baptism for her husband. Dominga has caught the wave. What an example she is to everyone in Westgreen. She literally does not wait to get busy in the work of the Lord! So why should we?

Kimberly Arias was baptized this week as well! Finally, this baptism has been postponed 3 times. But not by her choice. The ward has moved it 3 times! But finally it happened. It was a great service once it got started. We actually have a new investigator out of it. I was talking to the great-great grandma and she told me she is thinking about getting baptized now because she is so old and needs to be ready! We are going to go teach her today.

The thing is Kimberly has only been baptized by water. Yesterday there was a fire at the church so church was cancelled. Satan keeps throwing all these crazy twists and turns but the baptism will be completed! Keep the Arias family in your prayers please. They are less active and so this baptism is really important. Obviously Satan knows how pivotal it is going to be in all of their lives. The gospel blesses families! Not just the individuals. There is bound to be changes for the better once Kimberly's baptism is finished.

It is so evident to me lately that God really is so intimately aware of each of us, His children. He will put people in our path that we need to help and bless. Nothing is ever a coincidence. I am grateful for the mission because it has taught me that we need to treat each encounter with someone like a divine appointment. We are here to love and do good. I am grateful for the time to be a missionary because that is all I get to do for 18 months. It is preparing me for the type of person we all must be for the rest of our lives. I literally am here to grab people's hands when they have fallen and lead them to our Savior so that HE can heal them. My job is to make sure people know how to turn to Christ and be healed. It is amazing because I get a front row seat to view the healing process in my friend’s lives. Christ lives. He loves us and He is OUR Savior.

Keep smiling,

Dominga made me my favorite; ELOTE con CHILE
risked my life to save this Tortuga!
She is lovely right?

Kimberly Arias was baptized this week
the sweetest goodbye

Monday, June 2, 2014


Yes, you read correctly!!! DOMINGA WILL BE HEADED TO THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK. She is taking her own names: her abuela, tia, y esposo. It is going to be a wonderful experience. She is quite excited. These are the words from her own mouth about how she feels about temple work: (I’m obviously translating it for you) "I not only want to do this work for them but I need to do this work so that we have a union in Heaven and can be with God forever together." Beautiful right? During this lesson we talked about the sealing power and how that was restored upon the earth in this final dispensation. It was a really sweet lesson. Hna Saenz was on an exchange when this happened so I obviously had to take my temporary companion to meet Dominga. She just tends to build everyone’s faith so I think it is good that everyone has the opportunity to know her. She has definitely built my faith that God really has sent angels to prepare the hearts of our neighbors and friends for this message.

This was another really sweet thing she said during this lesson. I gave her the address for her chapel in Taxco, Guerrero as well as the bishops phone number and all the important information. I may have also found the directions so I could explain to her how to get there... Anyways, when I presented it to her she just lit up because she was so happy to know that she can continue in this path forever. She said how she would pay the 6 pesos to take the bus there and then walk the .7 miles back to her house after the service every Sunday. It was cute because she promised us that she will forever keep learning and progressing. She sometimes questions why she had to wait so long for this gospel but she understands it is all part of God's plan. I cannot even express to you the joy that I feel with Dominga. Literally, I do not want to say goodbye to her in 6 days. Good thing goodbyes are only temporary.

Oh another funny story about Dominga and then I will move on. We had a cita with her programmed for Saturday at 3. That morning her daughter called us and asked us for permission to take her to the zoo since she has to go back to Mexico in a week. Well, obviously my first intention was like NOOOOO but then we decided it probably be nice to share haha The best part is Hna Saenz and I know without a doubt that Dominga was probably resisting going to the zoo because we were suppose to come over. She never wants to miss anything. She puts God first always! It was hilarious. We hung up the phone and just asked ourselves- did she really just ask for our permission to hang out with her mom? haha

Right now Hna Saenz and I are obsessed with making videos. Too bad I cannot send them to you. There are some hilarious ones. You know that song about eating worms? Whelp, I now know it in Spanish and it is probably one of the best accomplishments ever. Spanish study is definitely one of the highlights of the day.

This week I learned that we don't need trials to perfect ourselves. Sometimes I feel like when things are going easy God has not trusted me with the ability to progress. I realize how absolutely absurd that sounds writing it out but sometimes I just feel like I am left alone when I do no have any real challenges. Well this week it was made very clear that just because I do not have any super hard trials right now does not mean that I cant progress and that God is not aware of me. It just means I do not need those right now. Now is the time to perfect those imperfections by more obedience and self-control. I kind of realized this in a lesson we had this week with Hna Alejandro- eternal investigator. She was saying how she used to have dreams of God all the time before she found the church but once she started attending, they stopped. The lesson of the story was maybe she did not need that anymore. It was cool to see an answer to one of my questions be given through an investigator.

Ashley will for sure be baptized on June 21st. Juana is still struggling a little bit. Ashley is such a great example. Every time we go over I ask her what she felt when she read the Book of Mormon this week and every time she says the same thing "When I read, I feel more faith." That is why we leave commitments. So that they can have more faith! It is so amazing to see how that is a true principle- it does not matter the age.

So I feel like there comes a point in your conversion when you are learning about the gospel when you just cry because it’s so beautiful. There wasn't one thing in particular that strikes you but you just have an overwhelming feeling because it’s true and perfect. That happened to me this week and it was beautiful. The atonement is perfect.

We had the opportunity to go to the temple on the 30th... my 16th month mark. That was crazy! We were there for 5 hours because I had a family name! There is an unexplainable happiness there.

Last story and then I will let you all be. I am just really happy about some of the things that happened this week. It also hit me that even if people do not progress and get baptized, it is still super important that they know these things because it is the only thing that will keep them happy. I am kind of speaking in reference to the commandments, in particular the law of chastity.

For the past 3 months we have been teaching these 2 teenagers. Their mom really wants them to know God. She makes them go to 3 different churches on Sunday and a bunch of other things. These girls are really confused and it’s really hard to get them to progress because of all the other distractions of different doctrines and what not. But this week we had planned to teach them the law of chastity. We were really excited about it but as we walked to their trailer obviously we got a little uneasy because we didn't want to add to the awkwardness that already exists in our lessons. But we prayed and the spirit really took over. It was a great lesson. It was so powerful to just be able to testify how important this commandment for our own peace of mind and happiness. We flat out said even if you don't get baptized in this church or keep meeting with us, you need to promise God right now that you will forever follow this commandment. They promised that they would. We told them to keep this folletito in a place where they could look upon it con regularidad as they grow up. They said, don't worry, we will. We keep all the other ones too. The oldest told us she really enjoyed this lesson as we were leaving. It's because Hna Saenz and I really tried to speak from our heart about the importance of this commandment. That is what was able to touch their hearts. We must speak with our hearts to touch hearts.

I am still happy as can be out here. Trekking away. Pray we find those elect people!

Oh also, Kimberly's baptism is this Thursday! YAY! We had to change it back one week so the Bishop could be there. We had a killer lesson on the atonement last night. The gospel is so incredible. The most important advice I can give anyone is just LOVE THE GOSPEL. That will change you and that will change your life. That is how you can be happy and successful. Anyone can grow to love it. They just need to put it in to practice! That is the great message we carry to the world. That anyone can participate in this goodness. Mmmm it makes me so happy! I pray that we are willing to sacrifice everything that we can so that others can taste of this goodness. Have the faith that God is preparing your friends and family. I can testify and tell you that your friends and family will be so happy you shared this part of yourselves with them. I cannot tell you how many times Dominga has told us how she can never pay us back for what we did for her. The truth of the matter is we did nothing but share our testimony. That's all you need to do and God will do the rest. It may take time but it will happen. God is good! So good and He wants us all to partake of the goodness that He offers.

Keep smiling,

Hermanita Parry
58 days left in Texas!
Trying to drink water upside down!
Attended the Temple on my 16 month mark
Love my comp!  We are having fun.