Monday, December 28, 2015






Ok BUT REALLY THOUGH Christmas rocked so hard this year. Its like even better on the mission because even though we arent with the fam we are right in the Christmas spirit being Christmas-y and doing Christmas things and talking about Christ all day and it rocks. PLUS SO MUCH FOOD AND YOU KNOW A SISTER LOVES HER SOME FOOD

Speaking of which, a thousand and one apologies to my family who had to sit on Skype for an hour just to listen to me talk about McDonalds. The whole time. Literally though.

So this week:

   - We dropped a solid 90 euros on McDonalds NOT EVEN A JOKE. AP McGhie said for his Christmas present he was taking all of us (his district and us, since Sis Johnson and I have adopted ourselves into their district) to McDonalds with no limit. YOU DONT HAVE TO TELL ME TWICE. WE HAVE NEVER EVER GONE HARDER. So worth it.
    - We had the most ridiculous, crazy, hilarious, wonderful sleepovers with our dear sisters in Porto 2 that just made Christmas 400 times better. Maybe getting bed bugs WASNT such a bad thing. Speaking of whichhhhhhhhh.... wait for it fam.... THEY JUST FOUND OUT THE HAVE BED BUGS. Oh how the tables have turned. So they moved into our house for the week. NOT EVEN KIDDING. REAL LIFE. I AM ACTUALLY LAUGHING SO HARD ABOUT IT. Cant wait until we pick up bed bugs from them and then move back into their house. The endless circle continues.
   - CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS. We crashed the district of Porto 2´s crepe party in the morning (told you we adopted ourselves into the district), then went to a Porto 2 member´s house and ate SO MUCH FOOD I COULD BARELY EVEN BREATHE but it was all wonderful and delicious, then went to the Ashby´s house for a solid American Christmas dinner, then Skyped our families in the office. THE MOST PERFECT DAY. Seriously so much fun. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!!!
   - We also spent Christmas Eve Christmas caroling our little hearts out and handing out presents (they were copies of the Livro do Mormon but the gente on the street didnt need to know that) and it was unbelievably fun. There is nothing like little old ladies stopping and listening, getting presents from us and saying "god bless you, merry christmas, you are angels". I love what I do yall!!

Alright thats all I got for yall fam. I am happy and healthy and enjoying everyday here on the mission!! Thanks for all the love and support and especially all the Christmas cards!!! OH WAIT I actually STILL havent gotten any of those. Come now fam. Think of the Christmas spirit. 


FIQUEM BEM TODOS!! xoxoxoxoxxoxoxxo bjssssss Sis P

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Homeless, homeless, like the Christ child was


Remember last week when I was like "funny story everybody my comp possibly has bed bugs haha bed bug scare part 2"

WELL SHE ACTUALLY HAS BED BUGS. LIKE REALLY REALLY BADLY. And that has turned this whole week into possibly the craziest week OF MY LIFE. We have been sleeping in the other sister house in Porto 2 and just going back and forth, trying to balance cleaning and bleaching down literally everything we own with actually doing missionary work and I honestly am not sure how successful we are being at it which is why this week was crazier than crazy. But obviously still good because Christmas and ENDLESS SLEEPOVERS and other amazing things!!

   - If I had looked at my life a year ago when I was getting ready to serve this mission and said "you will probably spend half of your mission ironing mattresses" the past me would have thought that was crazy. But its not crazy. Its just true. I think if I counted the number of hours I have spent ironing mattresses it would be more than Peter ever fished or Nephi hunted or ANYONE did ANYTHING. If anyone ever asks me to describe my mission in one word I will actually just say iron.

     - But we did other things this week too I promise you guys. Like getting ready for CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. IT IS COMING SO SOON and we are asking anyone and everyone to share a message of Christmas. And everyone is saying no but its fine because we know our message is amazing and we can still spread a little Christmas joy, even if it is caroling to people that dont actually want to hear us carol. WE STILL HAVE ALL THE CHRISTMAS JOY

    - I did mention endless sleepovers and LET ME TELL YOU FAM it has been the most fun in the world juntaring us crazy sisters in Foz and the goofballs in Porto 2 for lots of food friends and fun. Seriously some of the most fun I have had on the mish so far

    - WAIT YOU GUYS. WAIT. One of my BIGGEST NIGHTMARES IN THE WORLD WAS REALIZED THIS WEEK. Ok background first. I think like 2 weeks ago I talked about how AP McGhie was planning some crazy, over-the-top devocional party that Prez was going to and all that jazz? Well that was on Sunday, and McGhie had promised a "madrigal choir of Porto" without realizing that every Portuguese person ever is just the worst at singing, so he couldnt actually ask them. Meaning all that were left to ask were, you guessed it, the missionaries in Porto!!! So we got roped into doing a concert series that we started practicing for like 2 days before the actual event. And one of the songs we sang was O Come O Come Emmanuel, which I love so I was just singing it a little bit before we actually practiced and McGhie was like "OH MY GOSH WHO SANG THAT" and I tried to hide but with no success, and the next thing I know I am standing in front of everyone singing BY MYSELF, A SOLO, ACAPELLA AND IN LATIN. LATIN YOU GUYS. I think I almost peed my pants in front of 200 or more people. IT WAS TERRIFYING.

    - BUT the concert actually turned out way way cool, all the music sounded good and at the end we had everyone join in while we sang the last verse of "Noite Feliz" and it was super powerful and spiritual and amazing. And we ended up having 62 investigators there!! Seriously a Christmas miracle and it was awesome to be a part of it

Thats pretty much all I got. We will be going crazy this week caroling our little hearts out, wearing sweaters, ironing mattresses, making cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate, ironing mattresses, spreading Christmas cheer, ironing mattresses, and ironing mattresses. CHRISTMAS IS THE BEST YALL. Thanks for all of your love and support and for everything and HAVE A MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS YALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo bjs Sis P
P.S. Nobody actually sent me any of their Christmas cards meaning nobody gets a Christmas card back yet WHICH IS A SHAME because they are actually amazing and the most ghetto cards ever. Your loss, fam, your loss. Correct this mistake as soon as possible by sending your dear cards to the lovely country of Portugal

Monday, December 14, 2015



Ok but really I AM JUST SO CRAZY EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS and clearly I cannot even contain all that excitement. It is especially great on the mission because we get to do Christmas stuff and just think about Christmas and spread Christmas and testify about Christmas 100% of the time and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Feeling pretty hashtag blessed this holiday season fam.

BUT THIS WEEK WAS COMPLETELY CRAZY. Seriously though, a million and a half totally weird things happened in this semana and I only hope I can convey a tiny bit of the weirdness for all:    - First off, THE WARD CHRISTMAS PARTY. Which was the most awkward/weirdest/greatest thing there has ever been. It was supposed to start at 4 but because of some emergency meetings and things it actually started at 7:30........ LITERALLY 3 and a half hours late. So we had to do some rapid video-finding and game-coming-up-with and joke-telling and it turned out to be ONE GIANT STRESS BALL but whaddya know, Portuguese people go crazy for Pictionary and Laffy Taffy jokes and there is nothing, NOTHING better than watching a couple of 4 billion year-old Portuguese women laughing their heads off. So it turned out great in the end and there was a ton of food so thats all that really matters but seriously, the weirdest party ever
   - We went to visit an African family we are teaching on Sunday and JUST SO HAPPENED TO WALK IN ON A GIANT, GIANT AFRICAN BIRTHDAY PARTY. Hahahah there was literally like 40 people there, including a gay couple and AN ACTUAL REAL-LIFE NUN. THE FIRST TIME I HAVE SEEN A NUN ON THIS MISSION. We got invited in long enough to sing Parabéns, eat cake, avoid at least 15 people offering champagne, do toasts, and then realize we are the most awkward people ever to invite to parties. All in a days work
    - Instead of doing praticas at our district meeting we decided to play ultimate spoons for like 45 minutes and we have no regrets
    - Sister Johnson is seriously out of luck fam. She got way sick this week and now possibly has bed bugs. Hahahahaha no but really. Bed bug scare part 2. #pray4Johnson2015
   - We were meeting with one of our menos ativas this week and showing her the social media stuff for #nasceuoSalvador on the church website, she somehow managed to find videos of Vocal Point from there and I think we may have just opened a giant can of worms (not even sure if this is the correct expression but ya know what I mean) so A MILLION APOLOGIES to the boys of VP who are possibly slash probably getting stalked by a 30 year-old Portuguese woman

 I SWEAR THIS WEEK WAS TOTALLY WEIRD BUT I AM COMING UP BLANK ON OTHER THINGS TO SAY. People have also been throwing a lot of shade lately about how my emails are getting more and more lame YEAH I KNOW I KNOW theres just always too many things going on and then I forget them all by Pday and its just the mission life.

But know that I am happy and kickin it out here!! And that I love you all lots and lots!! THANKS FOR EVERYTHING YALL ARE THE BEST

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo bjs Sis P

P.S. card 4 card project 2015. Send me yo Christmas cards and you get one back!! Ours is WAY cute and WAY WAY WAY low budget (solid advertisement, I know) so dont miss this golden opportunity!!! 

1. Preview of our rockin (I did say it was low-budget) Christmas card. The row of chairs adds a nice touch if you ask me


2. And we are back to a couple of old pictures I stole from Sis Anderson, here is our area back when I was in Porto 1!!!

SOME HALLOWEEN PICTURES FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOURE WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015




For real fam, winter freaking CHEGOU. But the rain and gloom and coldness cant stop me from all my CHRISTMAS SPIRIT BECAUSE I AM GOING CRAZY. CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS. I CANT STOP THINKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS. Unfortunately the people here arent too into Christmas but I cant stop wont stop and I will force everyone here to love it as much as me, mark my words fam.

We also dont know where we are actually going for Christmas because only like 10 of our members are active and they are all going out of town...................... Whoops. Possibly asking Presidente if I can go back to Gaia for Christmas.... !!! Prayers needed

But ANYWAY this week:
   - THE GROUNDBREAKING FOR THE TEMPLE HAPPENED AND IT ROCKED MY SOCKS OFF AS WELL AS THE SOCKS OF ALL THE GOOD PEOPLE HERE IN THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY OF PORTUGAL!!! Seriously though, it was actually the greatest. THE. GREATEST. The ceremony was super spiritual and powerful and this all means SO MUCH to the members here. Right after we watched it there was an older lady from a different ward that just kept say "agora é só um poucadinho": now its just a little while. They have been waiting so long, so very very long for this, and it is seriously amazing that the time is now for it all to happen!!
   - So surprise of all surprises, my new district is ACTUALLY hilarious and amazing. There is a Brazilian elder in the district who I thought wouldnt be funny because you know, Portuguese and all that, but DONT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER because he turns out to be the goofiest person on the planet. Like we were at a baptism the other day and a greenie was baptizing, so he had to do it like 5 times and all of us were being really awkward and uncomfortable, and I look over and Elder Gomes is just nodding his head, happy as a clam and he goes "awwww yeah, ISSO é um batismo". Also he called to ask us to play the piano at a zone meeting and he was saying the hymn but I couldnt figure out what it was, because you know, Portuguese and all, so I was like "oh elder podes cantar um pouco para que possa saber melhor o hino?" and he goes "ta bem. Mas NAO FALA POR NINGUEM". So so so funny. I am actually STILL laughing about it.
   - Speaking of piano, I may have accidentally mentioned to someone that I sort of play a little piano and guess who is now the ward pianist?!?!?! HahahahahahahaAHAHAHAHAHA yeah. I was roughing it big time yesterday in sacrament meeting when they whipped out some random Portuguese hymn that doesnt exist in english and has 3 flats. I guess I really shouldve practiced more as a child... YOU WIN MOM, YOU WIN
   - We took on the responsibility of decorating the chapel and WE WENT CRAZY with Christmas spirit and all that. I will see if Sis Johnson has pics I can send bc it actually rocks. Although in the process Sis Johnson DEFINITELY fell down the stairs hahahahah just another day on the mission
   - No surprises here, but AP McGhie has outdone himself YET AGAIN in planning the biggest, craziest Christmas party ever. Like, he had his parents ship in 15 thousand candy canes that hes giving away as part of presents for people that come. 15 THOUSAND. We spend all day every day inviting people with glossy convites to this party of his so we will see what goes down here in 2 weeks fam
  - The greatest thing of my mission happened yesterday. MY LOVE OF ONE DIRECTION HAS SUCCESSFULLY HELPED WITH THE WORK HERE. Maybe there are those of you who doubted but what do you know, One Direction really is the best. We were doing some less active visits and Renata, this 12 year that I love to death, had saved a little 1D thing for me and I was obviously freaking out about it because I am still 10 years old, and bispo was like "WAIT YOU LIKE ONE DIRECTION MY DAUGHTER LOVES ONE DIRECTION" and I was like "HECK YES I LOVE ONE DIRECTION U KNOW IT BRAH". Also background: bispos whole family is less active. Soooooooooooooooo we went over to bispos house and I had an absolute 1D PARTY with his 14 year old daughter and she and I were going crazy and being excited and it was the best. Bispo later called us and told us that he feels like we are going to be the sisters that help bring his family back to the gospel. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best phone call ever. One direction really does help fam!!!!!!!

Alright I was trying to send a longer email this week and I CLEARLY succeeded. I seriously love love love being a missionary. The members in Portugal are AMAZING and I adore them. It is such a privilege to serve here and be a part of this all. Thanks for all your love and support, dont forget to spread the Christmas spirit and your testimonies!!


xoxoxoxoxoxo bjsssssssssss Sis P



Monday, November 30, 2015


Is that even how that song goes?! I tried.

SO MY FIRST WEEK IN FOZ HAPPENED AND IT WAS ROCKIN. For real, this area is beautiful DEMAIS and kinda perfect, the beach is like 4 hot seconds away from our house and it is COMPLETELY CRAZY, I have never lived this close to the ocean ever BUT IT IS THE BEST.

And I had to say puttin on the ritz because LITERALLY EVERYONE HERE IS A BAZILLIONAIRE. SERIOUSLY THOUGH. We spend our days counting jaguars and porsches and knocking apartment buildings that have doormen and red carpet and it is actually crazy. I am not classy enough to live here?!?! Most of my clothes came from thrift stores?!!?! Not sure what is actually happening

So for this week:
   - First off SISTER JOHNSON IS WAY PERFECT. We get along a little TOO good if you ask me. But really though, nothing but kicks and giggles out on the streets all day and sometimes we are like "oh hey maybe we should do contacts instead of just PARTYING ALL DAY". Just kidding, we actually work hard but you know, also grapevine and sing and have a great time
   - So Thanksgiving was this week!!!! Its not a thing here. At all. So we postponed our district meeting until Thursday and ate an obscene amount of pumpkin pie and then Sister Johnson and I whipped together our best Portuguese Thanksgiving dinner we possibly could. I was grateful for stuffing and gravy and I hope you all were too, because these are things that dont exist here and were sorely missed by yours truly
   - MIRACLES. THE LORDS HAND IS IN THE WORK FAM. I have been working more on seeing the Lords hand in everything here, and WOAH. IT IS THERE. This week we were pressing buttons to get into apartments, and the ones for casa 31 and 32 already said they werent interested, so when we got in the building I was like "eh we dont need to go up to the top floor its fine" but then part of me was like "dude wait what if there is elect people in casa 30" so I was like FINE and we went and knocked and IT WAS THE COOLEST FAMILY EVER. Seriously though, and THEY LET US COME IN RIGHT THEN which has basically never happened on my mission, ever. BÊNÇÃOS FAM. BÊNÇÃOS.
   - There is actually way more crazy amazing ish that goes down TODOS OS DIAS but I forget it all. Its super wonderful being in an area by ourselves, cause even though its a little lonely out here on this lone island, its cool to refocus and just do our work sozinhas and do our best! And I totally love it here!!
   - Also, THE WARD. IS SO GREAT. hahahahahah it is WAY different because there is 8% activity in this area and about 20 or so people that come every week. And the ambient is a lot different but that just means there is a ton of work for us to do and people to cheer up and bring back to church!! SO WE GOT THIS FAM!!

Anyway, I love you all tons and tons!! Dont forget to send me your Christmas cards!! Forreal though I want them all. Also, PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS AREA and specifically for the ala of Foz do Douro, we need all the love and prayers we can get!! LETS GET THIS WARD PUMPED UP FAM!!!!!!!!!

Loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee to all!

xoxoxxoxoxxoxo bjs Sis P

Thanksgiving REALLY isnt a thing here but we did our very best :)

So I got all the pictures Sister Anderson has been diligently taking every week (good for her, she is the best) and so I guess I´ll start sending a couple every week or something!!! LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

1. LONG time ago, zone soccer game!


3. That one time Sis Anderson and I accidentally basically wore the exact same thing

Monday, November 23, 2015


What up fammmmmmmmmmmmmmm so this will probably be a short one because a) transfers were crazy and b) I am kinda dying right now but BASICALLY THE MISSION ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF. Some things:
   - TRANSFERS HAPPENED and I made the huge, grande, giant switch on over to FOZ DO DOURO. Which isssssssssss STILL IN PORTO. Hahahahha... haha... ha. No but seriously its awesome, Porto is a beautiful city and Foz ROCKS SO MUCH. It is actually one of the most beautiful places ever, its right where the Rio Douro hits the ocean so we have beaches and rich people houses and the works. And I will be serving with Sister Johnson!! She is SO COOL and dies here pretty soon so she is also knowledgeable and a great missionary and basically its just gonna be one rockin transfer!!
   - Speaking of me dying, I AM LITERALLY DYING RIGHT NOW. AS IS THE WHOLE DISTRICT FAM. So basically we went to an FHE to eat Cashupa which I LOVE LOVE LOVE but it also got made like 2 days before... and just kinda sat there, waiting for us... So yep, our entire district fam is completely dying today. Perfect timing for transfers am I right?!?!! On a positive note, I lost 6 pounds overnight. I was pretty stoked about that. On a negative note, this is because everything that was in my inside is now on my outside. Too much info? Maybe. But seriously, Im not sure I have ever been this sick, ever. Partially why this is a short email.
   - So I had to leave my perfect, wonderful fam of Porto 1 and it was ROUGH. We really worked on the member relationships there, like focused hard hard hard on it and the results were amazing. Not just for the food :) but also in teaching with members, member references (which I have never had until now but THEY ROCK!!!!) the works. I fell in love with this ward and I wont ever forget it <3
   - Speaking of member referals, WE GOT LIKE 7 THIS WEEK AND WE DIDNT EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH OURSELVES. We went to an FHE on Monday night and our member was like "oh by the way we invited my sister and nephew and their families and they want to learn about the gospel, hope you dont mind" and we are just like UHHHH PODE SER I GUESS THAT SOUNDS PRETTY ALRIGHT. Man the Lord was literally SHOWERING blessings down on us in Porto. So gratefulllllllllllllllllllllllll
    - Thats about all I got. I had to leave my favorite district fam to which NO ONE ELSE IS LEAVING (again, why is this my curse) and I definitely spent time listening to sad Christmas music and crying over my suitcases. But all in all I am excited to be here in Foz and for all the milagres to come!!

OK LOVE YOU GUYS. Dang, I actually wrote more than I thought I would. Rest assured I am alive and well and after a 40986 hour nap and some 7up and crackers I will be back on track. Love you all so muchhhhhh FIQUEM BEM GENTE

xoxoxoxxoxox bjs Sis P


OMG WAIT I JUST THOUGHT OF ONE MORE HILARIOUS STORY. So we got our house disinfected because the elders were trying to be good to us and after we had bed bugs they got an exterminator to come (perks of the office am I right). Obviously we dont have bed bugs but still, the thought that counts.

BUT ANYWAY. We couldnt stay in our house for the night so we went and hit it up with Porto 2 in their teeny teeny little house and IT WAS A ROCKIN SLEEPOVER, getting the dream team back together. But to accomplish this we had to drive with the elders to their apartment to get their extra mattresses (I suggested a district sleepover, it was not taken well by the fam. JUST JOKES EVERYBODY) and then go there... Only they didnt have blankets or sheets or pillows. Or hot water. But it was still rockin!! And when they elders brought us our mattresses they forgot to shut the door to their apartment, which is literally out in the middle of the street in THE MIDDLE OF PORTO. Hahaha good thing all anybody can steal in missionary houses is like, some pamphlets..... Anyway, it was all one crazy adventure and again, I will miss this district fam.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The bed bugs are a lie and all is well

FAM. WHAT UP. TUDO BEM?!?! Another rockin week has passed us by out in Porto 1! And the most exciting news I have to share comes from the subject line: THE BED BUGS ARE A LIE. Yes ladies and gentlemen, after about 3 thousand hours of ironing our mattresses Sis A and I thought to ourselves: you know what would be funny? If this WASNT bed bugs. So we went to a pharmacy, got some allergy medicine, and within like 4 days the "bites" have all gone away. I would be annoyed but I am too busy being grateful. THERE ARE NO BED BUGS AND THE CHURCH IS TRUE FAM.

As for other happenins from this week:
   - Tuesday we had a zone conference and even after weeks and weeks and weeks of love and cookies, WE STILL GOT PICKED ON BY THE APs TO DO A PRATICA. IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE ZONE. I guess it actually wasnt a big deal but Sister Anderson and I werent too thrilled. Afterwords they had a "scale" to grade us on based on Portuguese, our testimonies, the works. Luckily there are those in our zone that ARE grateful for our wonderful baking skills so they were being really nice but still, one of the most terrifying moments of my life
   - Elder Merkle´s birthday was this week so we, being the wonderful district fam that we are, threw a giant princess (shoutout to Sister Anderson´s bday decorations) surprise party in the chapel and it was completely glorious. We also made a chocolate cake that I most likely gained 15 pounds or so off of because IT WAS THAT GOOD. I knew it would be bad as I was mixing butter and vegetable oil together to make the cake... but so worth it
   - There is yet another Saint in Portugal that lets us celebrate yet another holiday based off food: this time it was Magosto. Not sure what Magosto did or why he is important, but I do know we celebrate the man with roasted chestnuts and soup, two just glorious wintery combinations. Add to that a couple of old ladies in the ward that sang Fado and you have a classic Portugese ward activity. I love these people too much
   - Transfers are next week and I already have 3 transfers here, so Sis A and I are thinking Im going to leave Porto, so we had THE MOST GIANT PORTO PDAY EVER and saw absolutely everything we possibly could. At least 6 or so ancient cathedrals, the torre dos clergios, EVERYTHING. AND MAY I JUST SAY I LOVE THIS CITY. Ive spent half my mission here and still can never get enough :)

Ok thats actually about it, I guess this week was a lot less exciting than I thought. But just know that I am happy and healthy and also that THE CHURCH IS TRUE and missionary work is the best. I love you all, thanks for the love and prayers!!

xoxoxoxxox beijinhos Sis P


Thats right folks, for the first time in about 205938203598 months yall will actually see my face again. Try to avoid comments on the extra weight and just know that I am being fed well here in Portugal :)

1. This is from a while ago but GUESS WHAT PORTUGAL IS BEAUTIFUL

2. Portooooooooooooooo

Monday, November 9, 2015


What up friends and fam!! Another week down here in Porto 1B and it was another rockin one AS ALWAYS. Man are we blessed here in the great city of Porto. This was another one of those look-back-one-the-week-and-not-be-able-to-even-deal-with-how-many-blessings-we-have weeks. One of those member meals with references and happiness kind of weeks. Lets see hereeeeee
   - First off, as you can tell by the subject line, we had a fun little adventure with a few friends. Lets just say that I have been noticing some hives on my body for a while now and then they started getting a little intense so I asked the office casal (since Sister Ransom is a grandma and grandmas know everything) to look at my weird arm hives and she IMMEDIATELY was like "DO YOU SLEEP ON THIS SIDE OF YOUR BODY" and I was like "YES WHY ARE WE SHOUTING" and she was like "YOU HAVE BED BUGS, SUCKAS". She of course didnt say that but its what I heard. Thats right fam, we are living the full mission experience here in Portugal with our little friends. I never thought I would spend 3 hours ironing and seran wrapping mattresses, but here we are. At least my years and years of being a dumb teenager and seran wrapping peoples cars is finally coming in handy, just as I always knew it would. And apparently with all that work the bugs might die in a year or so!! A year hahahhahaha... hahah.... ha
   - BUT THIS WEEK WAS STILL GOOD DESPITE THE HIVES. We have this thing going for us called being sisters where the ward just loves us to death and we are not even sure why but we are RAKING IT IN. We literally spent like 3 bucks on groceries this week because we still had our fridge completely full because oh yeah, we eat basically every meal with members. Its maybe not good for my already-5-month-pregnant-looking belly but ITS GOOD FOR THE SOUL. As the ward members always say, "mais gorda mas mais FELIZ". True dat Portugal
   - We also somehow managed to find AMAZING people this week and we are not even sure how. For instance, one fam of ex-TJs with 4 kids that just moved here from Africa and also happened to COME TO CHURCH on Sunday which is Portugal is basically a miracle. Also some really cool jovens that just moved into our RC house and also just blessings blessings blessings
   - We just started instituting movie nights, where we take our fun group of African RCs and investigators down to the chapel and we watch church movies and its the best thing we have ever done. That and introducing them all to chips and salsa
   - It was our turn to cook for family night this week and what do you know, Sis Anderson goes ALL MARIE CALLANDER on it and whips out this crazy amazing homemade chicken pot pie that everyone was afraid to eat, but then did eat, and have been worshipping her ever since. Me too fam, me too
   - You should also all know that I am currently writing you all in a dinasoar onsie because yes, we did just have a chicken and waffle pj party for district p day in the capela. My idea, obviously. No regrets.


xoxoxoxoxxo beijinhos Sis P

Monday, November 2, 2015


First off, remember when I wrote that as my email title after having made it through 3 weeks of the MTC and thinking that was a challenge? Awwwwww Sis P. I had no idea.

Second, THATS RIGHT FOLKS, THIS GIRL HITS 9 MONTHS THIS WEEK! Its actually kind of the worst because I still feel like a complete baby in the mission and now Im turning into one of the old folks and I STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN AND NOT ENOUGH TIME. BUT I LOVE THE MISSION AND I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE FAMMMMMM

Also official announcement to any and all married friends and family: you can now feel free to be as pregnant as you want. GO FOR IT. HAVE BABIES. I WILL BE THERE FOR THEM WHEN THEY COME.

Ok so basically I have no time but heres some fun happenings from this week:
   - HALLOWEEN. Mission holidays are actually the best because we dont have any expectations and then something fun happens and we are like YEAH FUN. But Sis A and I carved pumpkins, made 9025820580 cookies, and did cute little disney 5 second costumes (mission life, no time for pics sorry fam)
   - The cookies never actually made it to our Halloween party and THE ELDERS ATE EVERY LAST ONE. No surprises there am I right
   - We had this massive Halloween multi-stake party with tons of food and missionaries in really dorky costumes and Amial even did this slightly Satanic "corridor do terror" so thats a bonus. But it was actually super fun and yay for mission holidays
   - Sis A and I accidentally got separated on the metro again (LOLZZZZZZZ) which turned into me telling the elders which turned into them thinking we had a huge fight and we were avoiding each other and then there was SO MUCH DRAMA LLAMA and it was completely ridiculous. If I have learned one thing on the mission, it is that elders have tons of drama. Seriously though.

Ok thats all for this week fam sorry for the lame email. I guess since Im halfway through I should leave some amazing advice or something.... LOLZ. Just know that the church is real true and the book is blue and everything is great. I love the mission and Portugal and everything. AND ALL OF YOU THANKS FOR EVERYTHING FAM

xoxoxoxoxxoxoxox Sis P

Monday, October 26, 2015

MIRACLES MIRACLES MIRACLES. And members and food and TEMPLES and miracles.

WHAT UP EVERYBODYYYYYYYY HOW ARE YALL DOINGGGGGGGGGGG. So we basically had the greatest week in the world here in Porto. Seriously though, this week ROCKED. We spent a good 20 minutes on Sunday just stopped in the street kind of shocked by all the good times going on this week. We have been struggling for so long out here and then BOOM having the greatest week ever. It completely rocks and we are just feeling blessed out here. AND GRATEFUL. YAY MISSIONARY WORK.

   - So first things first, THE SECRET IS THE MEMBERS. I have heard this about 2908259085 times and somehow have never been able to apply it.. Until this week? And like, sort of on accident? We were calling members to see how they were doing and all, and one of our awesome members invited us over for lunch (which lasted a solid 4 hours by the way. Shoutout to Portuguese culture). And then she just randomly CALLS HER LESS ACTIVE FRIEND and she comes up to hang out with us and we make plans to teach her husband who isnt a member. WAIT WHAT EVEN HAPPENED THERE. Part one of Sis A and I literally not even understanding our lives this week
   - And then PART TWO we went to Lilians house, this adorable 20 year recent convert who is basically Beyonce, and she was like "hey by the way my roommate wants to go to church" so HE COMES UP TO TALK TO US AS WELL and we have a solid lesson and basically Sister Anderson and I were just like WAT EVEN IS THIS. Like I said, we accidentally super successfully worked with the members this week and it just totally rocked
   - We are getting stoked for Halloween (its not really a thing here but we American missionaries are banding together to celebrate the heck out of it) so we decided to make the family classic pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They dont actually have canned pumpkin here but that cant stop a couple of hungry, determined sister missionaries. It ended up requiring going to 4 different stores to find pumpkins, USING REAL PUMPKINS and boiling them down to blend them to use them for the cookies. Looking back on what I just wrote thats actually not that exciting but we felt like we were on Master Chef or something
   - I keep forgetting to talk about this but it must be shared. Background: the capo verde community in the church always sits on the back row because a couple of them have rowdy kids and they all sit together. Then a couple weeks ago at church, I was talking to Lilian when church started and she was like "oh just sit here". Next to her. ON THE EXCLUSIVE ROW OF COLOR. I have never felt cooler in my life. It was literally a whole row of cool African people, and me, white and blonde right in the middle. I HAVE NEVER BEEN COOLER EVER.
   - this week we got the best news ever, announced in Stake Conference. THE TEMPLE IS BEING BUILT!!! Due to the fact that theres like 3% activity out here, a lot of people (myself included, oops working on building my faith fam) thought that it would never happen, but THEY JUST ANNOUNCED THE GROUNDBREAKING on December 5th. Prez Avelar announced it during conference and he could barely get the words out he was crying so hard. It was one of the most powerful and spiritual things ever to hear that annoucement, and it means SO MUCH to all the incredible and faithful members here. WE ARE GETTING A TEMPLE FAM!!!!!!!!
   - Speaking of stake conference, Sunday was one of the absolute best days of my entire mission. No lies, the literal best day ever. We went to go get Lilian for church with Edilson, the roommate we are now teaching, and then we walked past Presidente´s house right as he was pulling out of the driveway. So I waved and was feeling pretty good walking with our investigator to church, when prez pulls up and is like "hey are yall going to church? Get in!" HECKAH YES. Plus on the way there we also picked up Rui and Bruna, our recent convert and his friend we are also teaching. Yessssss. So we rolled into stake conference with our 4-person strong African crew in Presidentes fancy car. Actually the best thing ever.
   - BUT that wasnt the reason Sunday was the best ever, its because stake conference happened and since I have spent my entire mission so far in the Porto stake (lolzzzzzz yep I get made fun of for that all the time) I GOT TO SEE ALL OF MY LOVELIES FROM GAIA. IT WAS A RIDICULOUS CRAZY REUNION. The highlight of course being when Maria Jose shoved serveral small children out of the way to come give me a giant hug, or seeing Xeca dance through 3 groups of people to come say hi, or seeing my dear sweet recent converts Maria and Albertina right on the front row... Man I love those guys :´) And they asked a couple of people "by surprise" to give testimonies during the conference, and one of those was none other than AVELINO RAMOS PINHO. He talked about how he had just started living now, now that he has the true church. He also just got called as the secretary of the bishopric in Gaia. Wow, cue the proud mom tears. I was literally just in the back row the whole time, doing the sister thing and crying and freaking out and shouting "THATS MY RECENT CONVERT YALL" and basically just being a mess

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW OKAY I HOPE YOU ALL WERE READY FOR THAT NOVEL. I just have a lot of feelings?!?!?! But the point of this all is that MISSIONARY WORK ROCKS and I LOVE IT HERE WITH ALL MY HEART. Sometimes its hard and crazy but all in all, its the best thing in the world. CHURCH IS TRUE FAM

Love you all. Parabens to all of you that may have actually made it to the end of this email. FIQUEM BEM, TODOS

xoxoxoxoxxoxoxxoxoxo Sis P

Monday, October 19, 2015


WHAT UP EVERYBODY!! Another week down here in Porto Porto Portooooooo. In case you couldnt tell by the email title, SURPRISE, everyone is dropping us. AGAIN. Not sure what that is all about, I shower everyday and everything, but theres livro arbitrio and stuff like that in play and when it comes down to it, we do our best the Lord does the rest and then people make their own choices. Its still a little tough but WE KEEP ON KEEPIN ON

AND THIS WEEK STILL ROCKED. We finallyyyyyyyyy made our goal of finding news and it felt so, so good. We live about 904572095 miles away from the church and all of those 90359028 miles are our area, so its a little bit crazy and stressful and we kinda just work everywhere, all the time. But this week we decided to work more by our house (partial inspiration, partial laziness) and THERE ARE SO MANY AWESOME PEOPLE HERE AND IT IS SO GREAT. So we are still happy and rockin it out here in Porto!

Other happenings from the week:
   - Speaking of actually working in our area, on Saturday we found 2 different really cool families that live right by our house, and then right after our bispos wife called us (we live really close to them) and was like "hey yall want to come over for some cake right now?" and we were like HECKAH YES and basically it was a giant signal from the Lord like "you idiots, why do you think your house is where it is?!" So we have repented and stay close to home now :)
   - We met this slightly crazy, slightly amazing lady that adores us and is constantly shouting DONT GIVE UP whenever she sees us. Thanks, Eufrásia, we will not with that encouragement! She also loves quoting the New Testament and since thats my fav book of scripture I join in and we complete phrases together and she gets SO excited its hilarious. What would I do without Portuguese people in my life
   - Another crazy lady was trying to get points off of us from Lidl (grocery store that is doing some thing where you get points towards getting a plush toy every time you shop) so we just happened to combinar with her... In her house to give her the points... Hmmmmmmm. Yep we definitely didnt give her the points until we had taught the Restoration. Some people would call it bribery, Id say its following PME´s guidance to teach when you find, find when you teach am I right
   - Prez for some reason decided NOT to give people transport money this last week, and since Sis Anderson and I were a little confident on our money spending this week we ended up having 2 and 1 euros, respectively, for this whole week. Which meant getting REALLY creative on our baking when we had to make stuff for activities and baptisms as we slowly ran out of butter, eggs, then flour and sugar.... Yeah, pretty sure people arent as impressed with my baking skills after those last few sugarless cakes
   - Speaking of baptisms, the elders had a baptism!!! And since I apparently look like some neice of the lady getting baptized, guess who got to give a talk?!? Yeah... I actually dug out my dom do Espirito Santo talk from my 1st transfer and basically used all of that. What do you know, 5 transfers later and the Portuguese is still about the same. Thats probably a bad thing.
   - Being in the district with office elders just generally means a lot of food-making because you feel so bad for the poor things. And prez just cut down to having only 2 office elders, so Elder Merkle, for example, woke up WITH A STRESS BLACK EYE this week. Who even knew that was a thing?!?! Or maybe it just was a really intense comp inventory and theyre just not telling us.... Hahhaa yep so in other words everything is just peachy here in Porto

LOVE YOU ALL LOTS AND LOTS. Thanks for all the love and support and everything. Missions are the absolute best and its good to be able to share even a tiny part with yall once a week. CHURCH IS TRUE, BOOK IS BLUE

Much love xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxx bjs

Sister Parkinson

Monday, October 12, 2015

TRANSFERS and 29058230985 lemon bars later

WHAT UP FAM!!!! Hope everybody is doing well back in the good old US of A. Another transfer is down here in the fabulous Portugal, Porto mission and...... (drum roll)..... EVERYTHING IS STAYING THE SAME! Im still here in Porto and still with Sister Anderson. Actually the biggest blessing in the world because 3 transfers in an area is THE WAY TO DO IT and I have developed this big, crazy love for this ward and for my dear sweet comp and it rocks to be able to soak it all in for 6 more glorious semanas.

THIS WEEK ROCKED AS USUAL. Lets see hereeeeeeeeeeeeeee:

   - Today we went down to the high class coast (Foz do Duoro) and got high class pastries and sat on high class benches by the beach and all around felt very high class. And also THE BEACH IS PERFECT and PORTUGAL IS PERFECT and Im pretty sure I live in paradise



   - We have kept doing our "coisa ousada" so this week went to the middle of Gondomar and tried to contact all the people there in a park and it turns out for some reason these are like the meanest people in Portugal?!?! Which resulted in me accidentally being involved in a giant TJ bible bash and also, this random guy who thought he could speak english whipping out this gem: "I DONT WANT IT, MY RELIGION IS ANIMALS. I AM LIKE BUDDA" and I couldnt even work for 15 minutes or so after that because I was laughing too hard
   - Sister Anderson and I have taken it upon ourselves to cast all of our district members as different characters in all the Disney movies and it has resulted in WAY too much laughter out in the road. Get ready for a reenactment of Beauty and the Beast by the missionaries of Porto 1 because we are pretty sure thats going to be our next Pday. Im sure the elders will agree......
   - Sis A and I both stayed but SUPRISE our dearly beloved Elder McGhie jumped from district leader to AP! I feel like a proud mom :,) and also really happy that I spent 2 transfers feeding him cookie after cookie because hopefully he will look back on all of those cookies and never make me do practices in zone conferences. Fingers crossed.
   - Speaking of which, whats the best way to do transfers when you are in the district with the office elders? Well I will tell you: make some cookies and then drop by right as they learn about transfers. We get inside because cookies and BOOM we know about transfers before everybody else. Hours and hours before. If there is one thing the mission has taught me, its that cookies are the solution to just about any and every situation. Remind me again why I am 25 pounds heavier than when I left?!?!

OK WELL I LOVE ALL OF YALL LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS. Keep on keeping on out there! Read your scriptures and eat less cookies than this girl!


xoxoxoxoxo Sis Parkinson

Monday, October 5, 2015


What up beautiful family and friends of mine! This week was a week of craziness and ALL GOOD TIMES as usual. The mission is such a crazy crazy blessing! We had literally 205938205 or so conferences and meetings and stuff this week so not too much to report but I will do my best to tell more ridiculous stories
    - First off, GENERAL CONFERENCE AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHTTTTTT. OH MY WORD IT ROCKED THIS YEAR AS USUAL. Unfortunately my district is full of missionaries that are good and old in the mission and are real confident about their Portuguese so they all decided that even though no one else was in the capela, they still wanted to watch it in Portuguese. "At this point I actually understand it better in Portuguese" was a real quote from this weekend. SPOKEN IN ENGLISH I MIGHT ADD. STRAIGHT LIES. But alas, I also do actually understand Portuguese so it still ended up being pretty freaking GREAT. Special shoutout to our 3 new apostles and once I get to read the talks in english I will give more updates about which talk was my favorite and all that
   - Also the language may have been a barrier but the bigger barrier was definitely the schedule. We got special permission from prez to stay out late and watch conference WHICH TOTALLY ROCKED and we had a giant African party at Irma Sambas house to watch conference at like midnight. And she has this giant really fluffy couches... Yep I was GONE. Sorry to any and all afternoon session speakers. I will study these later I promise
   - On Tuesday we had conselho da missao, WHICH I STILL SHOULDNT BE GOING TOO because I am STILL NOT AN STL and its basically just a whole lotta faca but I gave it my best effort and ate a ton of food so theres that. Plus seeing old mission friends is just one of the best things about this whole ordeal
   - Then on WEDNESDAY we had this crazy long amazing mission conference with President and Sister Amorim that was POWERFUL and amazing and also really really long. But we learned a ton and have already applied some things and seen a bunch of success from it all. Whaddaya know, President really knows his stuff.
   - Then on THURSDAY (are you seeing what I mean now, crazy week) we had our interviews with prez which actually rocked because I kinda just assumed that he kind of hated me for being really loud and a little bit crazy and kind of awkward always at his little lunches, and then he whipped out a "you are one of the missionaries I trust the most in this mission" and I was like IKGJODSOIJO WHAT and maybe started crying and I just really love the guy. My little Brazilian grandpa :,)

THATS BASICALLY IT FAM. I hope you all enjoyed conference and if you didnt you are WRONG go back and watch them all and feel the Spirit and all that jazz. Thanks for all the love and support always, you guys are the best and I love you all tons and tons and tons!!



Monday, September 28, 2015

Book of Mormon stories, as performed by a couple of American teenagers

WHAT UP YALL! HOW IS EVERYBODY DOING HOW IS LIFE WHAT IS UP?!?! This week was also slightly CRAZY and just the best! Every week has so so so much going on but also seems to pass by so quickly its insane. All RMs already know the drill but seriously, mission life is the craziest. THE CRAZIEST. For this weekkkkkk

   - The subject line comes from our ward activity this week, a play that our district put on for the ward members. We did the story of Ammon and it was a HIT. McGhie, unsurprisingly, got REALLY into it so we had ridiculous costumes and a script we had to memorize, the works. And if I was a bad actress in English, I am DEFINITELY a bad actress in Portuguese. Seriously yall, it was sad. Being the queen and all I had to do a lot of fake crying and I just couldnt take it seriously and poor DL McGhie was just absolutely stressed out of his mind and made me practice fake crying during comp study everyday to prepare. Hahahahahahah the things that go on in this mission.....
   - But anyway, we worked real real hard on this ward activity of ours and then like 5 people showed up. And then Presidente and Sister Amorim showed up. YIKES. But luckily the 7 of us that were there all had a great time and the play was just cheesy enough for Portuguese people to completely love and there was tons of food and good times all around. And Prez was taking a million pictures of the play like a proud parent :,)
   - Speaking of Presidente, he asked if he could do lunch with us and our bishop this week. Ok, sure, we are always down for free food. And as it turns out, Presidente is TOTALLY A HOOT when he is working it with these Portuguese people. He was making mother-in-law jokes like NOBODYS BUSINESS (ex: why did Peter deny Christ 3 times? Because Christ cured his mother-in-law. Straight from the mouth of our mission president fam) and THEN as a conversation started he brings up the "make your draft picks on the new apostles" thing. THE VERY CONVERSATION I STARTED WITH HIM LAST WEEK. I knew I was getting invited over for my incredible dinner conversation skills I JUST KNEW IT. And Prez seems to have learned a thing or two from the master
   - My comp happens to be an STL, so she and the other STL went off to Madeira for their divisions (not even divisions, just a vacation basically) and that meant THE DREAM TEAM, Sister Parkinson and Sister Waddell (we lived together last transfer, she is being trained) were back together for one more round of craziness. It was basically two crazy kids while the parents were out of town, throwing My Time parties and building fortes and also doing missionary work?!? A little bit?!? Yeah some of that as well
   - Speaking of My Time I dont know that Ive ever properly introduced MyTime but IT IS THE THING THAT KEEPS ME GOING OUT HERE IN PORTUGAL. Its this magic granola cereal that also has chocolate bars in it and I literally, LITERALLY have 5-6 bowls a day. And I also wonder why I have the belly of a 5-months pregnant lady. Go figure.
   - Last night Sister Anderson and I were getting on the metro and I got in while she was still trying to find her metro card, and the doors started closing and I couldnt get them to stop or the metro door to open so basically, I was on the metro and she wasnt at like 9:30 at night. I had also kind of left her at a sketchy gypsy bairro?! WHOOPS. So naturally the both of us just laughed and laughed like crazy people, I got off on the next stop and forced the elders (benefits of having office elders am I right) to come save us in their car. Id say we handled it pretty good, in our time alone we both did 2 really good contacts and found families, so we both mentioned that maybe we should always work apart. I thought it was funny, District Leader did not.

Sorry that I always just tell the funny stories from the week but THATS WHAT THE MISSION IS ALL ABOUT AM I RIGHT. The work in our area is realllyyyyyy reallyyyyy slow right now, so we are just contacting contacting contacting and I have a feeling we will find some really amazing people here. Eventually. So I will let yall know when that happens! But until then just know I am still grapevining, still eating 40 bowls of MyTime a day, and still having a great time. Love you all tons!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox Sis P

Monday, September 21, 2015

Medival Festivals and lots and lots of singing

WHAT UP FRIENDS AND FAM! Another week down here in the beautiful city of Porto and it was a crazy one. Basically the work goes on and on, sometimes a little bit slow but it is always great to be a missionary! Lets see what happened this week....
   - There was a GIANT medival festival going on in our area this week and all we had planned was to do contacting, but hardly anyone was on the road because of the festival... So we just went and contacted inside the festival. Yep, we went and talked to all the crazy people in their flower crowns and medival garb and it was totally worth it. And may I just say medival festivals are way more legit when they are in actual 14th century castle remains in Europe
   - So keeping up with the "president wants us to do bold things" thing, our district decided to go to a crowded park and sing to all the people out and hand out pass along stuff and it was a giant party and slightly stressful but we met a lot of cool people. And a lot of completely crazy ones as well... such is the missionary life.
OK JUST KIDDING I AM GETTING KICKED OFF OF THIS CENTRO DE JUVENTUDE COMPUTER LOLZ ok just know that I am happy and livin life here in Porto, lots of grapevining and cookies and walking around and contacting and all that jazz. Love you all lots and lots and lots! FIQUEM BEM TODOS

xoxoxoxoxoxox bjsssss

   - We got to have lunch with the Ransoms, the adorable office couple that usually only invites over the dumb elders but we somehow got in on the gig and Sister Ransom somehow MADE CAFE RIO and I nearly had a heart attack and probably shed a couple of tears it was just that good
   - We are still making 29045820 cookies a week but bonus: we just started putting Nutella INSIDE the cookies and I swear Im not actually trying to gain 20 pounds a week but if youre wondering why, this is why
   - On Tuesday there was an ACTUAL REAL LIFE TROPICAL STORM over here in Portugal. As in those storms that are almost hurricanes and it even had a name and everything. And we, of course, were just walking around with our week little US umbrellas, utterly soaked and trying to speak to all the people that WERENT ON THE ROAD because they were smarted than us. And the people who we tried to talk to were like "what are you doing this is a hurricane go inside you weird American girls". So in the end we looked in our planners for all the investigators/menos ativos that would be likely to let us in for a few hours and scored a couple of tea parties WOHOOOOO
   - We were doing a contact and the guy asked what our nationality was, and I was trying to say "guess" which is "divinha" but I accidentally said "divina" so the guy immediately starts talking religion and angels and I was like ?!?!?! we havent even said we are missionaries yet... But it turns out its because I said my nationality was "divine". CRUSHED IT. PORTUGESE LYFEEEEEEEEEEEEEee
   - Sister Anderson had some questions on something or another so we scored ANOTHER Brazilian lunch with Prez himself. The first thing he said when he saw me was "youre getting more than your fair share" HAHAHAHAHA. I assumed it was just because Im such a fun dinner guest that I got invited but I guess not. Especially since it was really silent and awkward so I resulted to my 2 go-to dinner conversations, me having gotten fat on the mission and who everybody thinks the next two apostles are going to be, and neither went over that well. Whoops. Next time, Prez, next time.

Ok for real I am leaving this time. Id write more missionary stories but we honestly spend most of our time just contacting our faces off trying to find people to teach, so Ill let you know once we succeed and have actual progessing investigators. And also thanks for all the love and support! You all are amazing and being a missionary is amazing and life is amazing and yep LOVE YALL TCHAU TCHAU

Monday, September 14, 2015

Member relationships or just an excuse to eat 987453987325 cookies? You decide

WHAT UP FRIENDS AND FAM!! Another week bites the dust here in the lovely lovely city of PORTO. Seriously though, Sister Anderson absolutely LOVES being in Portugal and Europe which is actually great because I tend to forget that it actually rocks to be here?! And now Im remembering and Porto is beautiful to me again. VIDA BOA.

Im sure no one is surprised by this weeks subject line, but it comes from yet another week of literally upwards of 25 cookies eaten A DAY. I wish I was kidding. Unfortunately Elder McGhie has perfected this no-bake cookie reciepe and I literally have NO SELF CONTROL WHEN IT COMES TO THOSE BAD BOYS. I actually surprise myself with how many cookies I manage a day. All for the sake of member relationships am I right?!?!

This was kinda an odd week. Lets see hereeeeeee:
   - On Tuesday we got to go to Irma Sambas house for straight real life Angolan food and it TOTALLY ROCKED. African people know how to EAT. She also said she would do the fabulous African braids on my hair and make us cuchupa one day and literally nothing has ever sounded more perfect than this. I will keep you updated fam.
   - Thursday we had a fun little division with 2 of the elders in our district, just our fun little quadruple-ship. Theres a member family that has a friend who wants to start getting the missionary lessons, and he lives in the area of the elders, but he said he wanted to be taught by the sisters (I of course assumed this was because of our spirituality and teaching skills, although since he is a 17 year old boy the elders seem to think differently) and obviously McGhie wasnt going to allow that so now we are ALL teaching him, as one big group. And its actually a blast, especially since they live super super far away so we get to go in the fancy Office car that the elders have, and lately they havent had time to drop us of before their next appointments so we just go with them the rest of the night. Im thinking theyre going to start having missionaries go out in groups of 4 from now on, but Ill let you guys know after I write Prez Monson about this
   -  Speaking of President Monson GENERAL CONFERENCE IS COMING UPPPP I HOPE EVERYONE IS AS CRAZY STOKED AS I AMMMMMMMM Im forcing all of my district to play this fun game called "guess the next Apostles" so we will see who has the most spiritual inspiration on that one. Not sure if that is blasphemy or not ooopsss
   - REALLY FUNNY AND ODD STORY. So we had a ward activity on Friday because we are trying to start up integration nights every week. We decided to watch 17 miracles which seemed like a good idea at the time, until we started the movie late and then had to end it early... Literally RIGHT AFTER THE SUPER SAD MONTAGE WHERE EVERYONE DIES. NOT EVEN KIDDING. So everyone dies and its playing sad music and its horrible and depressing and then the elders get up and theyre like "yeah... so we kind of have to end it here" and it was just the worst. And then they asked Elder Merkle to give a hymn to sing at the end and he panicked and picked a Christmas hymn and I had to conduct said hymn, and I gotta say nothing has ever been as odd as conducting a Christmas hymn at a ward activity in Setember while watching everyone just sob over the movie. Nothing but good times here in the mission

By the way, we are also doing a lot of missionary work. I think I always forget to mention that, but the work is rolling and we have some really great people we are teaching right now and its exciting and great.

Welppppp thats about it! Sorry I never remember anything worthwhile but just know that we are working hard and playing hard and always having a good time. i love being a missionary and Im grateful to be out here, and thanks also for all the love and support from back home! Yall rock!!

xoxoxoxxooxxoxoxox bjsssss

Sister Parkinson

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Another transfer happened and also WHY ARE TRANSFERS THE WORST

Okay okay okay. Transfers arent the worst, they are a way to learn and grown and make new friends and blah blah blah I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. But unsurprisingly, Prez has split up the dream team. Riff has gone her own direction and Lady Midnight is taking on the world of Porto 1B SOZINHA.

Ok Im actually not alone at all, my new comp is Sister Anderson and she is adorable! She is an actual princess, not kidding at all. We get along super well, she is patient and perfect and she works HARD! I have already learned a lot from her and its gonna be a rockin transfer. Its just hard letting little Riff gooooooo

   - we had mission council (let me just header by saying Im not actually in any leadership position at all, but unfortunately Sis Wood was so I had to go to this meeting and I definitely did not at all belong there... YIKES) and it was literally LIKE 14 HOURS LONG NOT KIDDING and it was super spiritual and also one giant ROAST of all the zone leaders and I have basically never been more uncomfortable in my life. I have already decided to never be any sort of leader and never have to do that leadership council thing ever again
   - we worked with Pedro, this RC from the other ward for like 5 hours and it was a complete hoot. He taught us self defence, we sang Ed Sheeran on the road (loudly WHOOPS), the works
   - I was only in Porto for like 4 weeks and our area is HUGE and confusing and horrid so we spend like 98% of our week just totally lost out of our minds. Also Prez told us we need to know where all the active members of our wards live so we make cookies everyday to try to take to members houses... Then get lost for like 2 hours trying to find said members house, never find it, and end up eating all the cookies. Shoutout to the 25 extra pounds I picked up here that probably will never go away solely for this reason.
   - Speaking of cookies, I seriously make them every single day and I have really mastered it, and yall will be pleased to know that a ward member ate some of this cookies and told me I may actually have a chance to get married because of the cookies. Parabens for me am I right
   - We had a zone meeting this week and it completely rocked because theres only 14 of us so we just played games and had a giant party. No but really, we play this game where we have to run and grab random things from the chapel and it gets REAL. We also of course did spiritual things yall already know
   - Sunday we had an adventure and went all the way to the other chapel, by bus and by metro and by bus again just to watch Meet the Mormons with our RC Rui. It was a blast and I also brought cookies to that one. Im starting to think this is the secret to missionary work... Just cookies on cookies on cookies. And then everyone loves that one sister with the cookies and VOILA, references and baptisms, am I right?!?!? We shall see
   - Today was the best gift of all, we went BACK TO GAIA to play soccer with the Bragas again and IT COMPLETELY ROCKED. Also we ate at their house and I was nostalgic and crying and everything was perfect. Gaia will always have my heart.

Anyway, thats that! Sister Anderson and I have found a lot of amazing people this week, had some great lessons, we are working on member relationships, the works. It seriously is going to be an awesome transfer and Im so grateful to be here! Love you all, thanks for everything yall do.


Sister Parkinson

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lady Midnight and Riff

WHATS UP FRIENDS AND FAM!! TUDO BEM COM VOSCO?!? This week was actually pretty rocking and things are really picking up here in Porto! I have very little time and a billion things to say so HERE GOES
   - The title of the email comes from weekly planning. Presidente wants us to do something bold or courageous this transfer, so Sister Wood and I were trying to think up ideas and naturally they got a little out of hand, like trying to hide in the bushes and sneak up on people with copies of the Book of Mormon, the works. So we were trying to think up code names for the walkie talkies we would obviously need to buy, and without hesitation Sister Wood immediately says "Lady Midnight and Riff". She is never Sister Wood to me anymore, always Riff. And yall can feel free to call me Lady Midnight
   - One night this week we ate Cusupa (this is DEFINITELY not the right spelling but its a delicious food from Capo Verde) for the first time and I was going HAM because it was literally THE BEST THING EVER, and then we went to stop at a members house right after who ALSO INSISTED ON FEEDING US DINNER and I ate so so much and nearly died in that house. Also the meal in the second members house was chicken made with the "proprio sangue" and it was horrific and basically its a blessing I made it out ok
   - The sisters we live with had a baptism!! So we made a billion cookies and forced our buscuity elders to give us a ride and it was a huge party. We also met Pedro there, this recent convert who speaks perfect english and is the single most hilarious Portuguese person I have ever met. We are working with him this week so MORE STORIES TO COME
   - Also I went ham on the cookies at the baptism and then we had lunch with the Ransoms, the office casal, right after and I also nearly died. Are yall sensing a pattern?!?!

As far as actual missionary work goes, things are getting better and better. We have met a ton of cool people and had a lot of really awesome lessons with FAMILIES this week, plus we are getting to know the ward a lot better and its great. Transfers are this week and we are hoping beyong hope that Sister Wood will stay MAIS UMA with me so we can finally reap all the fruits of this last hard transfer. FINGERS CROSSED AND PRAYERS AND ALL THAT JAZZ FAM

Theres literally 2589710598715 other things to say but basically just know that I LOVE IT OUT HERE, there is nothing but sunshine and the gospel and grapevining and happiness in the mission. Its tough but it also just rocks. I miss yall lots and love you all, thanks for all the love and support always. FIQUEM BEM TODOS


Sister Parkinson

Monday, August 24, 2015

Possibly nothing happened this week?!?!

WHAT UP FAMMMMMMMMMM another week is gone and done here in Porto! And Sister Wood and I have been racking our brains for like 20 minutes and we collectively cant really think of anything that happened so this may just be the most boring missionary email YALL HAVE EVER READ GET READY

No but seriously, not much is happening. Its pretty cheesy and cliche and missionary to say, but the weeks go by fast fast fast. We do a lot of walking, a lot of talking to people on streets that dont actually really want to talk to us, a lot of door knocking, the works. Sister Wood and I are a little unique so our normal missionary week also means a lot of dancing and singing in the streets and I dont even feel a little bit bad about it. Lets seeeeeeeeeeeee

   - we have been working on member relationships since that seems to be a skill of mine (no but seriously, ever companion I have ever served with has been like "wow I have never had so many dinners as I have this transfer. HOW DO YOU DO IT" and I honestly cant tell ya I am pretty awkward and dont speak Portuguese that great so you got me. Maybe they see how chunky Ive gotten and theyre like "wow this sister likes to EAT we should give her the nutrients she needs" or maybe my awkward dance moves while trying to speak to people are really endearing I dont know but WOW this is turning out to be a long side note YIKES) but ANYWAY it means we are meeting all of the really great families in our ward and its an absolute blast. There is nothing I love more than a good Portuguese meal with good Portuguese people
   - speaking of which, we went to a members house this week and they had us share our message at the beginning, so we are doing the awkward "so how are you guys doingggggggggggggggg" thing and Sister Wood is about to start in on the lessons when the youngest kid, 6 or so, FARTS SO SO SO LOUD. SO LOUD. Oh my word we all just LOST IT. Other sisters may have been able to take that more maturely but since it was Sister Wood and I the lesson just never got back on track. Props to Afonzo for a job well done.
   - SIDE NOTE there is a man in the place where we are doing email with a bird just chilling on his shoulder. There is no other explanation to that, just man with bird.
   - There are 2 sisters currently staying at the mission home because one has some parasite (she lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks so Im like WHERES THAT PARASITE AT) and the other broke her foot and she also happens to be SISTER BARRATT. If any of yall remember, Sister Barratt was in my MTC district and she is the first missionary Ive seen from that glorious district of ours. We had a giant party and we are also hoping beyond hope that this means we will finally somehow get invited to presidents house. Prayers needed fam.

Other than that, not much to report! We are having an absolute BLAST but as far as missionary work goes, its been pretty tough lately. Nobody seems to be too interested in talking to us... But the member relationships are improving and we are still working our little (or maybe not so little at this point?) booties off to find the elect people of this beautiful city. All in all, I love love love the mission. Totally hard and yet a ton of fun. I am absolutely blessed to be here and grateful for all the love and support. LOVE YALL LOTS

Fiquem bem xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox bjs

Sister Parkinson

Monday, August 17, 2015


WHAT UP FAM!!! First off a huge, giant, just seriously really large PARABENSSSSSSS for that irma of mine that went on and got herself MARRIED!! WHAT THE WHATTTTTTTTTT IT IS LITERALLY SO ODD BUT PARA FREAKING BENSSS. Im slightly shocked and basically just super stoked to come home to 2 NEW SIBLINGS. THE PARKINSON FAMILY GROWS AND GROWS.

ALSO I TURNED 20 THIS WEEK AND IT TOTALLY ROCKED. The thing about the mission is that everyone totally feels bad for you for having to be on a mission for your birthday (I dont know why because its kinda the greatest) so they make all kinds of cakes and do all kinds of nice things and its THE BEST.  Some highlights:
   - I got 4 LETTERS AND PACKAGES AND SUPER NICE THINGS THAT ALL CAME IN ON THE DAY ITSELF. So thank you thank you thank you to the Parkinson fam, MEGAN for a rocking package, Makaila and CHRISTINA FOR EVERYTHING. Yall are the best.  
  - I accidentally woke up late (the best birthday present) and came in to all the sisters making pancakes with Nutella. SO CUTE.
   - We played a crazy crazy game at district meeting and then all ate a billion tacos and ice cream and it was delicious and wonderful
   - We went to a members house to start teaching her son in law and it TOTALLY ROCKED MY SOCKS SO HARD. Basically his wife was saying that one of her dreams has always been to be sealed in the temple, so her husband asked what he had to do to go to the temple, she said hed have to be baptized, so he asked what he had to do to be baptized, she said meet with the missionaries and VOILA. It seriously rocks so much, we finally have an investigator who actually real life wants to progress and learn, he is so prepared, and we are super super excited for him.


Other than that, this week was pretty tough. Presidente is changing up the system a little bit and he has some really really good ideas, but the transition makes us feel like we are absolutely not doing anything at all. Sister Wood and I work hard and a lot of times we feel like we dont see the fruits of our labors, which can be rough. But all in all the Lord is for sure in this work and we still see miracles everyday, as long as we are looking for them.

I have already learned so much and I am so grateful to be here! Yeah its tough, missing weddings and birthdays and things like that, but the mission is the greatest. Totally hard but I wont EVER EVER regret it. Thanks for everything yall do and for all the love and support, you all are the best and I love every one of you. HAVE A GREAT WEEK FAM, FIQUEM BEM!!!


Sister Parkinson

(some pictures from her companions blog)

Sister Wood and Sister Parkinson

Getting Ice Cream!

Carly lives in an apartment with 2 companionships!

Monday, August 10, 2015


WHAT UP FAM!!! Another week has passed and in a few short hours (more like 10 but still) I will have reached 20 YEARS OF VIDA!! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?! The good news is, I can assure all of you that while I am slightly older I have not matured at all. Not even a little bit. I am still a teenager at heart. Im sure you are all pleased to hear this.

SO THIS WAS KIND OF A CRAZY WEEK. Everyday is an adventure here with Sister Wood because we are both kind of crazy so we kind of just do crazy things all the time and its kind of the best. Some highlights:

   - We were having the worst day ever and no one wanted to talk to us so we were like WE NEED MCDONALDS. WE DESERVE MCDONALDS RIGHT NOW. But it was already almost time to go home and we live super far away so we took the first bus we saw, just kind of prayed that it would take us to McDonalds (it did. THE LORD BLESSES HIS MISSIONARIES FAM) so we ran in an bought like 16 cheeseburgers and then had to SPRINT home while eating 2 cheeseburgers at a time on the street so the other sisters wouldnt witness our shameful Mcdonalds trip. I kind of regretted it but I also dont think I have made a better decision in my life ever.
   - Our district leader started this crazy complex Yahtzee game for all of us duplas to compete in and see who gets the most Yahtzee points for the day. We started off pretty uninterested until he announced the prize: FREE FRANCEZINHAS FOR THE WINNING DUPLA. In other words, we have been going HARD all week. That has led to us doing a lot of rather interesting things that we normally wouldnt have done... Like chasing people down on the streets and contacting in super crazy gypsy neighborhoods and things like that. ALL IN THE NAME OF YAHTZEE.
   - So we were trying to find a family we had contact on the road and we walked passed a sleeping dog, who turned out to be RAVENOUS and EVIL and stared chasing us down the street and it nearly bit my hand off and Im still not sure Ive recovered from it
   - As it turns out I am in the absolute BEST district I ever could be to celebrate a birthday. Our district is just me and Sister Wood and the office elders, but our district leader is in the office and he was born to be a host. Seriously, he has been planning this crazy massive taco party for after District Meeting for me all week and preparing different dips and swapping recepies with the old couple in the office and TUDO, bless his heart. It will be a dia de FESTA com certeza.

Anyway, Im already basically out of time. The mission is the craziest thing in the world, but its also the best and the happiest. Everyday is an adventure and a blessing and I kind of just love it. Its the hardest thing ever but also just the best. And I wouldnt want to celebrate 20 years of life anywhere else. LOVE YOU ALL, HAVE A GOOD WEEK!!!


Sister Parkinson

Monday, August 3, 2015


WHAT UP FAM!!!!! So we all knew this day was coming and yet, it was not AT ALL any easier than I hoped it would be. Thats right, friends and fam, I have officially left Gaia. And I got myself transferred on over to the very exotic land of...... (drum roll) PORTO! Yep, literally about 10 minutes away. WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

So yep we basically had the craziest most fun pday ever with the Bragas, and then we STILL didnt get transfer calls so we just kept doing what we were doing and being missionaries and all that. Tuesday we managed to get some investigators so we could go to a concert that was being held with some guy who served his mission here and Joao Braga, who both play the piano super well and it was BASICALLY incredible. Not basically but actually 100% incredible. And the funniest part was we called to get permission from Prez, which we thought was going to be super difficult, and he ends up just being like "yeah you guys can go and dont worry about being home on time just come when you want!!!" HAHAHAHAHA it was the best. He is very dedicated to missionary work but a lot chiller than any of us expected.

AND THEN we were in the capela just DYING waiting for transfer calls. I literally thought I was going to throw up I was DYING. And finally they came and what do you know, I got transfered all the way on over to across the river. PORTO 1 BABY! But the BEST surprise in the whole WORLD came when I heard who my new companion is (lets get another drum roll going for good measure)...... SISTER WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD AHJKHFDKJLHERUHQRULIUTHEULKWTH WHAT THE WHATTTTTTT. Hahaha we were literally DYING I nearly peed my pants because I thought it was all a sick joke and there had to have been a mistake. AHHH. If yall remember from my last emails Sister Wood has been my STL for 2 transfers and we did a division and it was one of the best days of my mission, and NOW WE ARE COMPS AND IT DOESNT EVEN FEEL LIKE REAL LIFE. I am literally laughing 400% of the time and we still work but also are constantly having the best time and basically I am just so, so happy.

Seriously though, it is a tender mercy for sure! I knew I was leaving Gaia and I was so upset about it, and being in an area that isnt too far away with a comp that is a constant party and all that is the best way I couldve left my beloved first area. THE LORD KNOWS US FAM! Presidente obviously doesnt know us too well cause I dont know how on earth Sister Wood and I managed to get thrown together, but we will be ridin it for ALL IT IS WORTH

Thats about it! Its been crazy getting used to another area, honestly my whole mission up to this point has been in Gaia so I hardly know how to handle it, but Porto 1 has a super great ward that love the sisters and Sister Wood is one of the best missionaries I have ever seen, so all in all things are great here in Portugal. Other fun things from this week:

   - Sister Wood and I taking horrible double chin selfies, then laughing so hard we were rolling on my bed which then proceeded to BREAK IN TWO. Seriously yall, who the heck let us 2 be comps am I right?!?!
   - I FINALLY HAVE BLACK PEOPLE IN MY WARD!!!!!!!! Gaia was just way, way too white. We got invited to a birthday party thrown by one of the fabulous black couples in the ward and it was literally the best. So much African dancing and I couldve died I was so happy
   - One of the ward members had a scale in her bathroom and I dont know what I was thinking.... But yep. I stepped on it and I have bad, bad news. I actually didnt understand at first because it was in kilos and I was like "oh this is probably fine" only then I managed to get my hands on a converter and A COMPLETE MENTAL BREAKDOWN ENSUED. I only tell you this all because I love you, but in 5 months in Portugal I have somehow managed to gain 25 pounds. 25 POUNDS. HOW DID THIS HAPPPENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. I will tell you exactly how it happened: member meals and pastry shops. BUT STILL. WHY DOES THE FOOD HAVE TO BE SO SO GOOD. So yah basically if any of yall have any good suggestions for how to not be fat let me know because I feel like a beached whale basically every day out here. And Im not really looking for suggestions like exercise or eat less or stuff like that but ya know if you have any magic weight loss pills or anything that would be great.

Alright I love you all lots and lots. Thanks for all the love and support. Dont forget to share the gospel and all that jazz. FIQUEM BEM, TODOS

xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxxoxoxoxo beijinhossss

Sister Parkinson

Monday, July 27, 2015


Soooooooooo the email title comes from one of Xeca´s most prime moments. She didnt like the food she made but it was amazing so I told her it was one of her best, and she, trying to speak her just impecable english, goes, TU ARE A JOKING FOR ME GIRL?! I did not stop laughing for the next 20 minutes or so and Im actually still laughing about it now.

WHAT A WEEK. In case anyone is wondering, NO we still do not know about transfers. With the new prez they are now on Wednesday, but the entire ward has decided Im leaving (with reason, but still) and has starting giving me pity hugs and saying poor thing over and over again. Its really quite sad, I guess they realize just how much I love them all to death. Com certeza transfers are going to be hard hard hard. I also feel like I will love every area I serve in bastante, I just dont want to leave all my lovely friends. BUT ITLL BE GOOD.

I dont have much time so some rapid fire happenings from this week:
   - SOCCER SOCCER SOCCER. ALWAYS. We had the BEST P day today, the Braga family basically just adopted us 6 missionaries and we went to a REAL LIFE SOCCER FIELD and played REAL LIFE SOCCER with a bunch of other missionaries from the zone. Then we had Francezinhas and ice cream and chilled at their house and it was basically a dream come true. Did I mention I love this ward?! Once or twice, maybe?!
   - We have sort of a competition going on with the elders over who the ward loves more. Well, not really a competition because there isnt any, they all love the sisters more, but we went out this week with the intention to prove that sisters really are the favorites. So 2 batches of cookies and a couple member visits later........ Yep. They really do love us and we also havent cooked for about a week because we have member dinner after member dinner. This ward is the greatest. And also its good to be a sister :)
   - Also we actually did bring RC and investigators to our dinners and stuff so I promise we arent just wasting our time and getting fat. Well, getting fat, yes, but still. We are doing missionary work, really I promise.
   - ALSO there is a sister from our ward that just got back from her mission to Brazil on Thursday and it is the single most exciting thing that has happened to this ward in YEARS. And also for the missionaries because she is adorable and amazing and misses her mission a lot and basically told us we can work with her all the time. MISSIONARY JACKPOT. She also makes Sister Smith and I hate ourselves every day because she is just so darn cute and we are over here gaining on average 3 pounds a day. WHOOPS.
   - Oh and we had a pioneer day activity this week! It was super fun and we managed to get a good program together, but seriously, this is a very American holiday. We asked several really cool ward members to do pioneer stories and they all said "we dont know any" so that was awkward. They also found a really scary looking manqeuin (how the HECK do you spell that... Its boneca in Portuguese which is just way easier) that they tried to dress in pioneer clothes but since they dont really know what pioneer clothes are... Yeah. It was fun though and hopefully the people here have a slightly greater appreciation for pioneers.

Thats about it! I absolutely love it here and love the people here with all my heart! The mission doesnt stop being crazy hard, but it gets better and better and better and I wouldnt trade the friendships Ive made out here for anything. I love Gaia and I love Portugal and I love being a missionary. Thanks for all the love and support and FIQUEM BEM FAM!!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo bjssss

Sister Parkinson

Sorry its been a million and a half years since I sent any but I FINALLY HAVE MORE PICCSSSSSSSSS

1. Giant, fabulous, 12th century cathedral. Shoutout to Pdays in Portugal

2. I never feel more European than being in the teeny streets listening to street musicians play music on instruments that Ive never seen before

1. Dinner with the fabulous fabulous Bragas

2. DEPOIS a good 3 hours of futebol, quick shoutout to my giant sweatline and to my sweet sweet father who gave me the genes that make me sweat like a man


1. I TOLD YOU THE BONECA WAS HORRID. But with Elder Pedro everything is better

2. LOVE THIS FAMILY. Bispo and family Soares

1. I am really really really ashamed of how fat I have gotten but I just thought yall needed to see how absolutely FABULOUS and simultaneously horrid these orthopidic shoes are. I KNOW IM FAT OK BUT THE FOOD HERE IS SO GOOD

2. I love love love this people. Presidente and Ana Cruz

1. Minha maezinhaaaaaaaaaaaa de Portugal

2. The view from the bridge and basically Gaia/Porto is perfect