Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 1: WHAT EVEN IS MISSION ???!?!?!?!?!!?!!???!!!! (First letter)

Ola familia e friends (still haven't learned that yet man the MTC is slacking off these days)!! So i'M ON A MISSION??!!!!! WHAT THE WHAT???!!! I'm sitting in the basement of the MTC next to my companion and I have a nametag and my bag weighs 40 pounds and I know some Portuguese and I'M A REAL LIFE ACTUAL MISSIONARY. And let me tell ya, it is just the BEST.

I spent about 2 days before coming here just freaking out and completely terrified and now I'm here and I'm like what even was I worried about AT ALL???!! The Spirit here is I N S A N E. Everyone is so friendly and so missionary-like and it's the actual coolest. We've had a hundred awesome devotionals and everyday there's some sort of spiritual awesomeness that happens. Seriously y'all, the MTC is the BESTTTTTTTTT. 

It's hard though, not going to lie. The first day we had negative 20 minutes to unpack and stuff and my host whisked me away to my first class (in full Portuguese, by the way. Did I mention I don't actually speak Portuguese? Because I really really don't speak Portuguese), then we had some 4 hour seminar on "People and our Purpose" that was honestly just terrible (we were supposed to be teaching fake investigators but there were like 50 of us and so it was just so bad and people would randomly grab the microphone and be like "hey when your son is sleeping, that's like apostasy, and when he's awake that's like dispensations".... uhhhhhhh yeah okay cool homie) and then we had a meeting with our zone and then we were supposed to take a tour and then we had to study and then we got our schedules and it said we'd have 10 hours of classes everyday and I was like NAH FAM I CAN'T DO THIS. Literally the first day I was 98% sure I'd end up on a stretcher being sent home after 2 weeks or so. 

BUT it has gotten better and better and better every day!! Y'all know I hate classes and studying, but my teacher, Irma Wilson, is so sweet and awesome that it doesn't seem so bad, and studying isn't bad at all when it's like reading the scriptures and some Portuguese and stuff. Plus we've had some awesome experiences that get my so spiritually hyped that even though I'm already exhausted I just feel pumped every single morning!!!! (except for this morning because our roommates left for Wisconsin today at 2:30. 2:30 AM. IN THE MORNING.) But other than that every single morning!!!!

My companion is Sister Selk and she is an absolute DREAM COME TRUE. I met her before actually, she was in Brad Wilcox's mission prep class with me!! He told us we might be companions and we kind of brushed it off but hey, here we are!! He sent the two of us a letter and asked her "have you seen Sister Parkinson yet?" We spent a lot of time laughing at that one. Uh, she has. She most certainly has seen me. A lot. Constantly, actually. She's from Alberta Canada and she says all the things every good Canadian should, which includes, but is not limited to: eh? (that's good, eh? Literally all the time and I laugh every single time), runners (apparently these are shoes), sorry like she's straight up Gilbert Blithe, aboot, and many many others. I make fun of her 10940239 times a day and luckily she's a good sport, but eventually I feel like she's going to crack. No but seriously, she is so hard-working and supportive and hilarious and she has the biggest heart and and even bigger testimony. She and I get along so well it's insane, and some of my favorite moments here so far have been companionship study (companionship "study"... we try, we really do, but we're both so funny) and especially companionship prayer. 

MY DISTRICT. Can we just talk about my district for a second? There's 10 of us, all going to Portugal (except Elder Mills, going to Angola. Poor guy, he gets a lot of jokes about ebola and eating dogs and whatnot). We are literally already like a family. I mean we should be, we spent the ENTIRE day together, but we all get along SO well and we are constantly laughing so hard we can't stop. But at the same time, we also have amazingly spiritual moments and help each other with Portuguese and whatnot, so it's the actual best combination. 

We started teaching Joao (with a little squiggly over the a only I don't know how to do that on these crappy pre-historic MTC computers) on Friday. Yes, that's right, Friday. As in we'd been learning Portuguese for about a day and we had to teach an actual, real-life (okay he's fake but still) pesquistador a FULL LESSON. It was baddddd fam. Sister Selk and I kind of freaked out and I started speaking Italian and he kind of just laughed at us and it was pretty discouraging. Oh, he's from the Dominican Republic by the way. They speak Portuguese there???? Jalyn????

But anyway, we worked super hard for our next two lessons and even in our horrible horrible Portuguese, they went super well. We taught prayer the second time and we got Joao to pray with us, which he wouldn't for anyone else!!! And the next time we taught the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and he had been bible-bashing everyone else and freaking out over Joseph Smith, but I guess we taught it well because he didn't even have any questions, and when he prayed at the end he asked for help with reading the Book of Mormon and help to feel the Spirit!!!! I felt like a proud mom and actually cried a little bit. Man am I pumped to get real investigators and feel that kind of love that we have for Joao, only intensified!!! 

Funny Moments of the Week:
   - Sister Selk and I literally rock-paper-scissoring to decided who had to pray in Portuguese in our first lesson with Joao
   - Elder Mills got his address that says when you leave the MTC, and his date is 3 weeks after the rest of ours, We're pretty sure it's a misprint, but his face when he saw it.... we all DIED laughing
   - We asked Joao what he knows about the Book of Mormon, and he started listing off Mormons he knows... "Mitt Romney.... Danny Osmand..... Oh, and Davide Enchilada." Uh.... What?? He just kept repeating Enchilada over and over again and Sister Selk and I we're trying to figure out what he meant and he goes "American.... Eeeedol??" and I was like OHHHHH David Archuletta???!!! Literally the funniest thing ever. Sister Selk and I couldn't teach for the next 5 minutes because we were laughing too hard
   - Elder Cervantes wrote down the begging of parts of a prayer and made his companion, Elder Peterson, pray with Joao. Only Elder Peterson didn't know it was just the begging of prayer words, so he found out later that he literally prayed "Thank you for.... Please bless us with.... Please help us to..... In the name of Jesus Christ amen". Hilarious.

Quotes from the week:
   - "Uptown Funk, man I hate that song, I'd rather listen to my belt squeak" - Elder Hinkey (THE most hilarious guy in our district, possibly in the whole world)
   - "Sister Parkinson? Uh... you have a string on your Goddess Booty" - Sister Barratt after I put my pajama pants on backwards and post-talk of the Goodess Booty yoga DVD

Okay I spent way too much time on this. Just know that I love you all and I love love LOVE the MTC. It's hard and I am a little homesick, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Te amo familia!!!! Until next week!!! 

- Sister Parkinson

P.S. Big shoutout to Melanie for her letters and the BUBBLES that my whole district is obsessed with and and even bigger shoutout to Makaila Nevil for a million letters and a PACKAGE!!!! With a very needed supply of DP

P.P.S. SEND LETTERS!!! Please please please!!! Letters and like gold here and getting one is the best thing ever. Use DearElder.com, I'm in branch 7 district B!!!!
Editors Note: I might have added some bolding.... 

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