Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas

So we are moving to other sisters' apartment because it is way closer than where we are staying now! Instead of a 45 minute bike-ride we have like a 5 min bike-ride. Way nicer! But they are still looking for our apartment, probably will not get it this transfer but hopefully the next one. 

There are a lot of Brazilian people in our area apparently. I might be learning some Portuguese! I love that language! It is so beautiful!  

The coolest thing happened; we were venturing out in our area and man we came across the hugest houses! So cool! Turns out they were the ambassadors houses! We found the one for India and the U.S. and Holland! They were crazy awesome!!!! We were freaking out. Next time I will take photos. We are going to try to klop in, meaning knock. We stand in front of people's houses and yell klop klop and so we call it klopping, haha. It is not as weird as I thought it would be! 
Coolest thing; When I got to Skype my family, my dad spoke Arabic to the family we Skyped at, and my mom spoke Dutch to the mom! It was so awesome! My mind was blown!! 

So, funny story of the week. when we got to this lady's house we sat inside and we were about to start and all of a sudden Sister Wood was staring at me and I was just smiling and then her and sister Christiansen started to laugh... I was so confused. Then it hit me, I still had my helmet on!! So embarrassing! I did not even notice! 

So I guess new years is huge here! Normally people from all over the world come here for it. It sounds like a war apparently...sounds super safe right?  I hope we can stay out past 7 because I feel like there would be so many cool stories!! I gave a talk last Sunday....it sucked!! but I quoted David Archuletta "Glorious". Haha,  and it was the best part. haha. Biking is hard but I love it here.
Sorry this letter is not as long, I did not manage my time wisely on the emailing this week but if you all want to write me letters my address is. p.o. box 2932 Paramaribo, Suriname, South America. love you all!!!!! 

 
 This guy had on the craziest shirt!



 
Christmas party with all the sisters in Suriname


All the sisters and their Chacos!

 
 All the yummy Dutch food you can get in Suriname

Monday, December 21, 2015

Not in Mesa anymore!!

I MADE IT!!!!! It was so crazy to get here. I met up with some missionaries in Houston. Some who were also visa waiters and some who were fresh out the MTC. That was so fun!! But when we arrived in Trinidad I almost was not able to get in!! Immigration was crazy!!  But then they decided I was safe enough to get in. It was weird, but we made it to Trinidad. It was like 12 midnight by the time we made it to the mission home. Pres. Egbert picked us up. So get this: they drive on the right side of the road here!!! Isnt that crazy! I did not know that and then I went into the car and bam! The wheel was on the right side! I took a picture of pres driving. We spent the whole next day in the mission home  and we had orientation. I stayed the night till the next day at 7 pm with a companionship who were serving in Trinidad.

  
 My day-trainers in Trinidad.

 


 The next I flew out to Suriname, where I will probably be my whole mission. It is almost like its own mission. So I went contacting with the sisters and they had a car! Which was so awesome! But man do they drive crazy here! They are the best bad drivers. If that makes sense.
We came across this guy who said that he wished Hitler was successful. He was really creepy. I did not like it.
The English in Trinidad...it is like its own language! This one guy was talking and I could not understand a word of what he said.. hahaha. Anyways, I made it to Suriname and it is so awesome here!!!!
So my companion is Sister Christiansen. She is from Texas and this is her last transfer. So I am killing her.. sad. She is so awesome!! She kinda reminds me of the twins sometimes. So that is a good thing! It makes me love her more. We get a long great. We are currently in a trio with Sister Wood because her companion wont come till next week. It is all confusing. She has been out for 14 months and is from Canada. She is so awesome!
We do not even live in our area because we are opening up a new area in Paramaribo which is more in the city. They are trying to find an apartment for us because there has not been sisters in that area before. So it will be fun! But right now we have to bike like 30-45 minutes, I think, to get to our area. We also have to be in Sister Wood's area. So we switch days, but oh my gosh so much biking!!! The first time we biked to mine and sister Christiansens area we had the wind going against us like crazy!! it was a hard bike ride!! Sister Wood and Sister Christiansen at the end of the day said wow that was a hard day, Sister Parker are you OK!? a couple of times. Ha ha, I was fine. I thought that is what was normal. I guess not.
I am already used to biking on the right side. Even biking it is crazy here!
Sisters have to be inside by 7 here unless we have a member with us. I guess it is not safe enough. I think it is fine and that that is unnecessarily but whatever they say.
I got an raining experience! It was raining like crazy I was soaked and I had to bike in like mid calf deep water in the streets sometimes.

 


On Sunday we went to church and I had to bear my testimony in Dutch. Oh man my Dutch is rough! The hard thing is that I can't participate in the lessons that much or at all because I do not know the language. But I am not too discouraged because I know with effort and time and help from Heavenly Father I will be able to get it. I just can't wait!!
I wish I had time to say everything I want to say but I can't, I only have an hour. But I am in love with his place!!! I love it so much! I am getting eaten alive, yes even on my face! But I still love it! I have never sweat so much in my life!!
I am sorry if I can not email everyone who emailed me individually, I do not have a lot of time.  I promise I will do my best to get back to you all!! I love you!!!  and keep safe everyone.
I promise my next email will be more spiritual.

 
 Fresh coconut! So Good!

Hey OMG mom!!! It is like if Africa meet Holland here! They have frikandel! and oliebollen! and stroopwafels! And those little hotdog things and those cookie things we all love! and vla!! Seriously mom I am in heaven!! so i do n not know if sister Christiansen's mom talked to you or not but there is a super fast and easy way for us to get packages! and I need a raincoat. They said the North Face brand. Probably in a black or red. so I will be Skyping you around 7 pm my time. Mom I love it here!! It is so awesome. Bummer I do not get as Long on the email!! But yeah, food is cheep here!! It is awesome!!

 OLIEBOLLEN!!

And all three of us eating oliebollen! 
(Sister Christiansen on the left and Sister Wood on the right)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

We Welcome Your Missionary!



Dear Families,

We are so happy to welcome the newest missionaries to the Trinidad Port of Spain Mission! They have been in orientation and training sessions today at the mission home and we have been enjoying getting to know them. They have met their new companions via Skype and will join them in the morning in their new assignment areas. You will be hearing from them on Monday when they have their preparation day and will be emailing. We feel their enthusiasm and love for the Savior and His work. We will take good care of them and look forward to the opportunities of growth and change that they will experience throughout their service in the Trinidad Port of Spain Mission. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,
President and Sister Egbert

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Off to Trinidad

Tomorrow morning I will be off to my original mission. I have loved this opportunity to serve here in Mesa and even more grateful to have had this chance to serve at the visitor center during Christmas lights. To be able to testify of our savior and his love for us to so many people. And to have seen so many miracles. And gain so many friendships. I am so grateful the Lord has trusted me enough to be here. I am so soar to leave but I am so excited to start a new adventure and to help the people in Trinidad. To take all that I have learned here and to bring it over there and help the people grow
 closer to our Heavenly Father.

The lights at the Mesa Temple

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hey so I got my visa! I cried when I got the call. I love it here! I don't want to leave. I have grown to love the people here so much! I love working in the visitor center also. It will be a huge difference from my lavish life style to the complete opposite in Trinidad. I wish I had more to write but I will tell you a spiritual experience this week. I love all of you and I won't be able to email next Monday
because I will be traveling. But today was the best last P-day. We went laser tagging and went on a hike. It was awesome! Got to hangout with a lot of missionaries! This is what I wrote to my mission president and bought you all would like it.
"I loved the topic of this weeks letter! Joy! I have so much joy! So much love! When I was taking the sacrament I focused so much on Jesus Christ's sacrifice. I focused on the representation of the bread and water as I prayed and was asking for forgiveness. I felt the spirit touch my heart and give me so much joy. Joy and love for my savior and for the amazing experience I have to take the sacrament every Sunday and to feel the spirit. I am very grateful to have had this chance and have this great experience here to be a Arizona Mesa missionary. I love this mission. I am so sad to leave it but I know Heavenly Father needed me here for his work. And I have done all that I was supposed to do here. And now he needs me over in Trinidad. I am grateful that he trusted me to do his work here and soon, over there. Thank you for helping me adjust and helping me feel apart of the mission. The missionaries you have here are amazing! I love them!! And I love the area I am in!"

We snuck into gods plan for families. One of the exhibits at the visitor center.


 
 Another selfi

 
My Christmas presents!  

 This was my companion, Hermana Zamudio, for the night! I love her to death!!!! 

This is the district!  

Me and the comp!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Lights!!!

Hey so this week was so awesome!!! So many things happened!! I will
start with Thanksgiving!

So I went to 2 member houses for Thanksgiving. One was from our ward. And it was more like a lunch. And I got that "You look like Blake lively" again. First time in the field! Hah. Then some family I do not remember their name but they had a bunch of missionaries over for dinner. And guess what!? I knew the oldest son!!! His name is Sam! I met him up at school my first semester! He lived at Liberty square. The same apartment complex as me. His building was right across from mine. But we talked and it was awesome!!

On thanksgiving we are not allowed to meet or visit anyone unless they invited us because it is rude. It is family time. Makes sense. So all day was like a P-day! So awesome! We played two turkey bowls (Football) games. With all missionaries. Then we ate Thanksgiving lunch. Then we went to that family who had all the missionaries over. And we played volleyball, ate and had a little
devotional after. Then we met with our zone and just played games at the church and chilled for the rest of the night! It was so great! Loved it!!! So thanksgiving was a good day!

Fun fact! There is a family from the ward I used to serve in,  they have a son who just got back from the mission, their last name is Growberg, and we have had him come with us for lessons. Apparently he is the grandson of the guy who the movie the other side of heaven is about! That is his grandpa?!! So awesome!! We are going to have to get a photo with him! But thought I should tell everyone!

This transfer has been hard. The visa wait has been rough for me recently. I have been really down and I hate it. I have been trying to stay positive but it is so hard. I have been struggling to be happy.
But in my personal study one day it helped a ton!  I came across the scripture Alma 36:3. Alma is talking to his son Helaman and giving him council. He said that when we put our trust in God (all of it) God will help us always through our trials, troubles, afflictions and we will be lifted up at the last day. I need to put my trust in Him. He knows what He is doing. And He will help me get through this time here in Mesa while I wait for my visa. Weather I stay in Mesa for my whole mission or I go to Trinidad. I trust in God and know that He will help me feel at peace with either one. He knows the bigger picture. And now I feel a lot better and more happy!

But what also helped was because I was out in the visitor center for Christmas lights! I started the night after thanksgiving! And I work every night till the 1st of January! And I love it so much! I believe that if I was not called overseas I would be a visitor center sister! It fits me perfectly! I am meeting so many people every second!! I ran into Arthur from my singles ward at school!! I almost hugged him! I met his fiance! It was so awesome! Then I ran into Alica! And her family I legit almost cried!! I gave her the biggest hug! Alicia and her sister were my room mates while I was in Provo going to school, I love them both. Alicia's is on a mission as well! I was so happy to see her!!
And then I ran into some one who knows my stake president. And they took a picture with me and sent it to him! And I love working there!!!

Also funny! I ran into a lady who was in one of the wards I served in last transfer, the Northridge Ward. And she says to me you served in my ward! You were the cute sister! And then went on about how she thought I was so cute and she has a son who just got home from a mission and she told him about me! And wanted to set me up with him! And asked how long I have been out and I said almost 4 months and she said oh he can wait. Haha, then she left and then a minute later came back and said I just have to take a picture of you and show him how cute you are and then she showed me a picture of him! Hahaha it was funny and awk! But I love this experience to be a visitor center sister!!!

 I hope you all are doing great I love hearing from you! Remember to trust in God and put him first above everything else!

video

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED AFTER CHURCH!!!
 
We get are own BOM with our name as a visitor center sister!

A lady gave us little mini mes! That was my companion for the night. We are with a Spanish sister for the visitor center. We call them zebra companion ships. 

This was us getting crafty on thanks giving!

Turkey bowl we get serious! 

Me and my companion! 


Friday, November 27, 2015

Look who we found tonight!

At the Mesa Temple. Her roommate Alicia ran into sister Parker. 

Look who we found tonight at the Mesa temple lights!  
She is so happy!  
Alicia Rock



Also the following was posted on Facebook by Arthur Silva:
Ran into this awesome girl at the Mesa temple!!! — with Kaileen Debenham.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving

From a family in Mesa, Thanksgiving Day.



                                              Thanks for sharing your daughter with us! 
                                                                   She is wonderful. :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

4 Eyed Club!

So this week has been crazy awesome! The work here has really started
to pick up! Which is great! I love it! We are meeting more people and
teaching more!! This week went by so fast I feel like last p-day was
yesterday, haha.

So I am kinda a visitor center sister for the Mesa
temple! My companion is, but she is in full field right now. But they
are about to start Christmas lights and it is crazy busy. So they have
all the VC sisters working for that. So I am being trained for it. I
am actually really excited for it! I will have this awesome
opportunity and experience for the visitor center and also my mission
over in Trinidad! It is just too good to be true! They say a lot of
miracles happen here! And hey are even giving me a Book of Mormon with
my name in it! That is what all the sisters get apparently. So nice!

So we found this guy TJ. We knocked on his door a few times one
night and he was not answering. We thought he wasn't home so we are
walking back to out car. Well we were walking really weirdly! Like REALLY
weird. And all of a sudden we hear a laugh and look back quickly
and see him standing outside his door laughing at us. So embarrassing!
But it was all good, he let us in and we taught him! He is an awesome
dude!!! So being weird opens doors! Note to self!

So our mission president and his wife had the whole mission make
us run a 5k. And that was today! So I just ran a 5k. And it was hard.
But! It was so enjoyable!! Afterwards. The feeling I had was so great!
I need to run more often. I've been slacking on that. But it was good!
I beat my old, and new companion!

Well nothing really crazy! Oh except I had an awesome experience with
a less active we are teaching! So he is 20. His name is Brock.  I
have recently been thinking about him. And a couple nights ago as I
was laying in bed trying to go to sleep I could not stop thinking
about him. And I just kept picturing him on a mission. And him so
happy. And it was so strong. I knew it was the spirit. And I was
getting these ideas for lessons with him! And I wrote them down. It
was such an awesome feeling. I knew the spirit was preparing me for
him. And I have this feeling like he might be one of the reasons why I
am in Mesa. I am trying to figure out what it is that Heavenly Father
wants me to learn here and who he wants me to meet. I think he might
be the who. We will see.

I seriously love the people here. So
much! I will cry saying bye to them they are like my family!!

Well I hope everyone is doing well and safe! I love you all!!!
Remember to put the lord first in all things! Everything else will
fall into place!


                                I got glasses! I joined the club!! Forgot to put that in my email!
                                         Me and my companion. Yes those are snow cones.
                                                             The mission after the 5k.

                                                            
For sister Lloyd's birthday. 

video

Monday, November 16, 2015

Gratitude

Hey everyone! So it is November that time of year for Attitude of gratitude! I love having a grateful heart! For example last Monday once it hit 6 pm and P-day was over so many things happens and went wrong! Our meal appintment thought we were coming earlier and then our lesson was  canceled. Then our car got totaled!!! On top of that night we weregoing on splits with the STL. She was going to be with me, and sister Lloyd was going with sister Duran. And then we were not able to eat dinner because we had to get all of this going on. And I was having a killer headache. So it was crazy! But I knew if I focused on all the things that went wrong it would only bring me down and the work. So in my prayers that night I did not ask for anything I just gave thanks for all that Heavenly Father has blessed me with. For the talents I have been given. For this experience hat I have been given to serve a full time mission. That we were not in the car when it was hit. That our lesson cancelled because we would not have made it. And the next day I was able to focus more and not look or let that night bother me. I can testify that being thankful is a blessing. And only increases you
faith and love for Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.


So since we no longer have a car. And we do not know when we will get
one again. Probably not this transfer. So we are on bikes! Yay!.....
Well I got to get ready for Suriname right? Maybe it is the lord
preparing me for Suriname. And that means I may leave soon!! Haha but
it is quiet peaceful to ride bikes! I enjoy it! And then I get my
speaker and play music and put it in my basket on the bike. So we can
jam out(spiritually) and Cruz. I am sorry we have not taken any pics
on the bike but this next week we will!! I promise! So fun thing!
Sister Lloyd fell! So we were ridding and she is behind me telling me
a story and then I hear  a pause and then, "oh dang it!" And then I
look back and she falls! It was so funny!! I made sure she was ok. She
was. She did not get hurt. But still pretty funny! And then I started
laughing. She laughed to it was all good. Good times good times.


So we had zone training meeting. And it was so spiritual! I loved it!!
We set a goal as a zone to fine 108 new investigators for the month.
This is how we came up with the number because it is pretty random. So
they asked each companion to set a goal for how many new investigators
they can find for the month. And write it down. Then they to stalled
the amount at the end and that is how many we are going to find! And
so awesome!! We have already found 3 this week! It is truly amazing!
And I ran into April who was my first investigator I asked to be
baptized and was doing so great then dropped us. Well we were at a
luau. And she was there she came up to me and smiled and I gave her
the hugest hug! And we held each other for a long time! I instantly
felt so much love for her. More than I thought I had for her. I almost
cried! So found out she is going to church with a polonisian family in
the other ward. So happy to hear that she is going to church still!
And she even taught her family a lesson for fhe one night from the
Book of Mormon! Ahh!! So awesome! She is only 17! But she is not
baptized and doesn't want to take the lessons yet. She feels like she
needs to learn everything and know everything before she can be
baptized. We have tried to explain to her she does not have to be
perfect and that we are here to help her. But she doesn't get it. But
I told her to call us anytime! And when she does decide to be baptized
then to call us! I love that girl!





                     So for language study I wanted to do something fun! So I have been translating the song glorious into Dutch. It is fun! I would send you a video of me singing it but then your ears might bleed so I will not. But I am so happy to be here in my mission! I do not ever want to go home. Sorry mom and dad. I'm staying! But I know it will be so hard for me to leave the people here in Mesa. It will be so sad. But I know I can visit them when I come home. They are only 4 or 5 hours away from home!  Thank you all for your support!! Love you and the emails you send me!! Make my day!!
 

 This little boy is Zach! He is so adorable and I think he will probably get baptized!

 These kids love us so much! They actually think I am related to spider man. So funny!!
 So this is April in the middle! Love her!!




Riding bikes now. Some neighbors let us borrow them. It will be a long time till our car gets fixed!


Me on a bike!


My Mom had to send me some jackets and sweaters. It is getting cold here in the mornings and evenings and I did not plan on that with packing since I am supposed to be in Trinidad!

 This is me and my companion. I love her. We are cute. 

This is the view from our balcony. In the members home that we live in. The street and houses are so pretty.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Pie

So transfers happened!! And I have a new companion! Her name is sister Lloyd and she is from Idaho. She is a ginger and has beautiful hair. We get a long so well!! We can laugh and still get work done it is awesome! So I am still in the same area but they took a ward away from me...and i loved this ward so much. They were like my family. Transfers are so sad! But happy at the same time. I do not like saying goodbyes! But we are still living with the members. I love them so much! I feel like I am apart of their family! So great!

             So first I hate pie. My family knows that. But now I love it! I ate like 5 pieces the other night and they were all different kinds! So good!! I don't know what I was missing!!! It was amazing! These members can cook!!! Second everyone one when they ask my name and I say guess they think I look like a Jessica! Haha weird! Because that's my sisters name. It was pretty funny!

          There are these members in our word the Nahles. And the dad is from Lebanon! And he is an amazing cook and made us humus!!!! It tastes just like the humus from back over there!!! I loved it!! He is amazing and he has amazing art! Dad look him up! So awesome!!
           
             Well nothing crazy happens just transfers. I am so grateful though to be out here. I am loving the mission and the work. I am learning so much! And I made a goal. Each month to focus on a Christlike attribute. So this month is faith in Jesus Christ. It has helped my attitude and work here in the mission so much! I feel so light and strong. Because I know that Heavenly Father is helping me with the load I have to carry! I love everyone one of you! And if any of you know any strong medicines like super strong medicines for headaches please let me know!!
Thank you!!!

I love you!
I love being a missionary!
And I love Arizona Mesa missionary!