Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Week 5: Oi vey with the poodles already

WHAT IS UP FAM!!!!!!!!!! HOW IS LIFE!!!!!! WHAT IS HAPPENIN!!!! For real, how IS everybody??!! Things are good and dandy and the exact same as they always are here at the CTM! The Spirit is still strong as ever, my district and I are one huge lovely family, the food is still slowly but surely destroying each one of us, and we still do nothing but sit. And eat. And sit. And then eat. And then sit. And then eat and then sit and then sleep. Rockin those 16 hour days am I right??!?!?!

The most incredible teacher - Irma Wilson!
Thanks again to all for letters and packages and other goodies! This week's special shoutout goes to Mama P for coming in CLUTCH with 4 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats and every conference talk I've ever wanted. It was perfect timing too, they served Chicken Cordon Blech at the cafeteria the night I got the cereal and I was able to swoop in and save the entire district from a most likely horrible fate. You, Mama P, are a Savior on Mount Zion to all of us in 7B. Also to Melanie for her continual cute packages that always brighten my day!!

This week our district decided to have an "English Fast" on Thursday. We weren't allowed to speak anything but Portuguese and we even had tallies for every English word everyone spoke. We learned about 20 minutes in that this was the worst idea we've ever had, ever. I cannot even explain to you how frustrating it is to have a million things to say and not be able to say one of them. And we're moving to Portugal in a week??!!! And will speak nothing but Portuguese in exactly 7 days??!?!?!?!!!!?????!!!!!!! Can someone tell me how I'll survive this???!?!?!?!!


I'm only a little bit excited

We got our FLIGHT ITINERARIES on Friday!!! We fly Tuesday from SLC to DFWWWWW!!!!!!! To LONDON to Lisbon. WHAT. How perfect is that?? My last time in the US for a solid 18 months will be spent in Dallas :') and then we have a whole 4 HOUR LAYOVER in LONDON ENGLAND!!! Which we will probably not be able to go outside for!!! And then LISBON!!! The best part about it all is that we leave here at 11:30 am and not 2:30 am like most people. Thank the Good Lord cause y'all know Sister needs her sleep!! At least, this is all what we're hoping will happen. Apparently the last group going to Portugal had a ton of trouble with visas, so we're expecting at least a few people to get reassigned. Sister Selk has already found out she'll have a temporary reassignment, and it was really hard on her. Prayers for one and all!! We find out tomorrow?? Maybe?? The travel office won't actually tell us anything so basically if a reassignment comes for us in the mail, then we'll know. I guess we'll see!
Not too much to report on our investigators this week. Irmao Belchoir tends to get distracted with his crazy crazy stories (making it rain on just one house while on his mission, his proposal, the fact the he has apparently changed international law?, etc) so we haven't taught Abrao in ages. We asked him if he'd be baptized in 2 weeks, and that was 2 weeks ago.... And we haven't actually taught him since then.... Hm. I hope he liked his baptism? I guess??
Elder Reni is an artist

And Claudia continues to be a tough cookie. We got her to commit to keeping the Word of Wisdom, and she knows she needs to be baptized but she doesn't want to set a date or anything. She's worried she'll break commandments after she's baptized, etc. We had a cool moment in our last lesson when I felt prompted to ask her if she'd be baptized, and she was kind of iffy on it again, and I felt I should ask "Do you have faith in Jesus Christ?" She was kind of taken aback but said yes, and we were able to testify powerfully that faith is a principle of action, and she needed to exercise her faith by being baptized. It's crazy how even in these role play lessons, you can still feel the Spirit so strongly. I can't wait to get out there and have these experiences with real-life, actual investigators!

We've actually started teaching each other as well, and Sister Selk and I have to take Elders Cervantes and Peterson, acting as investigators, who can both kind of be pains. The first lesson we taught, "Daniel" told us he wanted nothing to do with us and stormed out in the middle of teaching. Uh, okay? Since then he's stayed but has no interest. What a fun time. But "Jacob" is progressing well and has been fun to teach. He actually said something interesting the other day, Sister Selk and I were trying to teach the Restoration without notes and the whole time, I kept thinking about conjugations and how I wasn't saying verbs right and how slow I was talking and whatnot, and then after the lesson we asked for feedback and Elder Peterson said it was amazing and he had felt the Spirit so strongly he couldn't remember the last time he'd felt like that. What???!!! Sister Selk and I were so busy worrying about the lesson and Portuguese and speaking fast that we didn't even notice the Spirit that was there! It was eye-opening for sure, and a good reminder to not worry so much about the language, but focus on how we, and especially the investigator feel. 

We got to SKYPE BRAZILIANS this week for TRC! We taught Marlo, a RM from Sao Paulo who was an absolute sweetheart and absolutely impossible to understand. Sister Selk and I managed to scrape a decent lesson up about trials, but still, he talked FAST. Seriously, I have no clue how this whole Portuguese-thing is going to go once we leave this safe little MTC bubble. 

Funny Moments of the Week:
   - we found an ADORABLE puppy literally just wandering through MTC campus. We freaked out and of course, did the right thing and took him back to the front desk..... After we played with him for a good 5 minutes or so. Or maybe an hour. I wish y'all could have seen the faces of literally every missionary who walked past us and then realized we were holding a puppy. We missionaries have been without our pets for TOO LONG.
Simple Joys at the MTC
   - when we did last teach Abrao, he had to leave our lesson early, so we asked why, and it turns out he was going to Scouts. Wait, Boy Scouts? For our church? Yep. That's exactly what he was doing. We definitely never invited Abrao to Scouts, but this is the kind of golden investigator he is.
    - THE FUNNIEST STORY OF MY LIFE. PREPARE YOURSELVES. So Sister Barratt did a small load of garments last laundry day, like 3-4 pairs. Then when she came back for them, they were gone. We all thought it was the weirdest thing, like why would someone steal garments? Isn't that kind of gross? So the next morning we're eating breakfast with the Elders and Sister Barratt goes "you guys, the weirdest thing happened to me yesterday, somebody stole my garments from the laundry room!!!" and the Elders get this horrified look on their faces and start dying laughing. Elder Reni had done his laundry in the same machine, after Sister Barratt, and then threw his whites in the drying above the washer without checking to see if there was already anything in the dryer. Later that night he was folding his garments and lo and behold, he found 3-4 pairs of women's garments in his stash. All the Elders freaked out and didn't know what to do, so they decided they'd better destroy them all and throw them away, so they did. And there you have it, our District Leader stole our Sister Training Leader's garments and then shredded them. This story is literally never not funny to me.

The most recent girls in our Zone
Quotes of the week:
We could really think of any good ones, but here's a few
   - "Oi vey with the poodles already" - Sister Barratt, for all of you who know about our oi vey obsession and are Gilmore Girls fans
   - "Eu oviooo englesssssssss" - Elder Hinkey being the Portuguese police on the day of the English fast
   - "Elizabeth, fetch me my ice chips!!" - the Elders after deciding Sister Barratt (Elizabeth Barratt)'s boyfriend looks like he's British 
   - "ELDER TYLER RENI IS A WOMAN'S GARMENT THIEF". This has been written on our whiteboard for a week now. And it's never coming off.

Anyway, I love you all lots and lots and lots! If you ever feel like writing a letter or sending a package feel free to do so now before it gets hard to send stuff to Portugal. Hint, hint. And pray for missionary work, especially in Portugal! I pray for all y'all as well. TE AMO FAM!!!!!!

Sister Parkinson

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