Monday, April 27, 2015


So transfers were this week, kind of. Hahaha Sister Pereira and I are sticking together for another 6 weeks right here in Gaia! I'm stoked, Sister Pereira's incredible and this area is amazing and the ward is like my second family. Sister Pereira's probably a little less happy, since she's already been here 5 months and I'm always late to everything and she has to do everything cause I don't speak Portuguese. Whoops. PRAYS4PEREIRA2015. 

But we did loose Baugh and Jensen in our district fam. Seriously though, our district got really close (or I just get attached to people really fast I guess) so I was weeping once again as we dropped off our dear sweet sister and DL this morning. It's a real problem for me. But the dream team, Sister Harper and Elder Biannuci (my two favorite people in the whole world) are STICKING TOGETHER FOR ONE MORE GO AROUND. And Sister Harper is TRAINING which I'm crazy excited about because it means I won't be the baby anymore! And I'll finally not be the worst one at Portuguese in our district! Just close to the worst one!

Anyway, more important things. Like THIS WEEK. HOLY COW FAM. THIS WEEK WAS INCREDIBLE. Long and hard at the beginning, since we had a lot of appointments fall and a lot of rain and a lot of contacting and divisions with our crazy STLs, who only speak Portuguese and who aren't actually that nice (whoops), but then it was incredible. As in, JOAO GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY WHAT WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. That's right fam, the sketchy pirate we met on the street 4 weeks ago has completely turned his life around and is now a member of the true church of Jesus Christ. LIFE IS SO GOOD.

Seriously though, it was amazing. Joao is so incredibly prepared. Every lesson we have he just loves, and the members absolutely ADORE him (great for us, we get to accompany the man to dinner appointments). The baptism itself was super spiritual and watching his face after coming out of the water..... GAH. There's just no way to even describe it. He bore his testimony after about how he'd been feeling empty, really empty and really depressed in his life, and right when he was feeling the worst was when he meet two sister missionaries (this is me fam. THIS IS ME.) and how even though he doesn't look that different on the outside, he's completely changed on the inside. Yes fam, this is OUR convert. He's seriously amazing and I can't wait to see where this new life takes him! We're trying to decide if we're going to convince him to serve a mission or just set him up with the cute RM sister in our ward.... Hm...... Vamos ver! 

As for other news, there's not much to tell! We spent a lot of time working on that baptism and then a lot of time celebrating that baptism, so that was pretty much our week. As I told Sister Pereira, a missionary baptism is like Christmas! And you can't work on Christmas! (I realize this is the wrong attitude to have but ya know.... tem que ser. New transfer fam, we'll work hard again I promise).

OHHHHHHH HILARIOUS STORY WAIT FOR IT FAM. So remember how I gave that talk at Andre's baptism last week?!?!?! So Andre actually speaks perfect English and we had a lunch with him on Friday, so we all just spoke English, naturally. He's from Brazil so it's really really hard for him to understand us missionaries in our not-very-good Portuguese with the Portugal accent. Remember how I said he put his head in his hands last week during my talk at his baptism?!?! He told us at the lunch that he was laughing a little at my BOA TARGE joke and then I started in on the actually talk and he had NO idea what I was saying, no clue, so he was trying to keep himself from laughing the whole time. He literally said he was sitting there thinking, Lord please forgive me but I'm going to pretend like I'm praying right now. So he wouldn't laugh the whole time I was speaking. YEAH PORTUGUESE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

Anyway, I have to go. I love y'all lots and lots and lots and think about you all the time. Do good and be good fam! FICA BEM TCHAU TCHAU BEJINHOSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Monday, April 20, 2015


1. One time we had to walk a billion miles in Avintes to visit MAs and then there was a beach and we were excited


HEY HEY HEYYYYYYY FAM! Another week down in GAIA! From everything I´ve heard, this is the promise land of Portugal. Feel free to pray that I don´t get transfered out of here next week. I can tell yall I´ve been praying like CRAZY for it! It´s definitely nice to have things like a ward. And members. And sometimes even baptisms! Like I said, the promise land.

Speaking of baptisms, ANDRE GOT BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!!!! WOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! He´s actually a reference from Sweden but he´s from Brazil and the elders taught him, and he´s literally THE coolest person I´ve ever met. I don´t know what it is, but I absolutely adore just about every Brazilian I´ve ever met. They´re the COOLEST. 

Unfortunately the elders know how much I just love André so guess who got to give a talk about o dom do Espírito Santo at his baptism?!?! That´s right, yours truly. Why they would ask the first-transference-still-doesn´t-speak-Portugues-missionary I can´t really say, but let me tell ya, I was roughing it. Right at the beginning André put his head in his hands for a couple minutes.... I´d like to say he was feeling the Spirit, but I´m gonna go ahead and say it probably wasn´t that. 

But HE GOT BAPTIZED. AND IT WAS SO GREAT. It´s been a billion years or so since I went to a baptism and it was so powerful, seeing his face after he came out of the water.... GAH. The coolest. This work is the best. And he bore a powerful, powerful, REALLY POWERFUL testimony afterwords, all about how he´s been prepared and how the church is true. Yep, pretty sweet.

But let´s talk about my actual investigators, shall we?! This week was a ROLLERCOASTER. I´ll start with the bad so we can end on a good note: Claudia was marked, preparations were being made... and then she didn´t get baptized. We worked hard on helping her get the desire and she was really getting there, and she reads the BOM everyday and goes to church every week and really fits in with the Moças so it all just makes sense, the only thing that was missing was permission from her parents. So we called in one of her lessons and her mom said no. Just blatantly said no. For no real reason, she´s not even really a part of Claudia´s life (she lives in Lisbon) but she said no and now Claudia´s losing her desire and it´s just SO crazy frustrating. But, we got her and her dad to Andrés baptism and they really really liked it, so we´ll keep working as hard as we can and hopefully we can see her take part in this blessing!

Now we need to talk about Joao!! This kid, I swear. We found him doing street contacts, and we decided to contact him solely because he looks like a pirate (beard, smoking, hoop earrings, the works) and then after a pretty sweet lesson in the rua we left.... And then realized we forgot to get his contact information. Sister Pereira´s not really one to give up, ever, so we ran probably a solid mile to chase him down and get his contact info. Turns out, HE IS SO GOLDEN. He loves the BOM, he goes to church every week, and just soaks in everything we say, always. We thought we´d have trouble with the Palavra de Sabedoria, but after our first lesson HE STOPPED SMOKING. LIKE; ON HIS OWN. WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. He´s marked for this weekend and we´re CRAZY excited. And best of all, we´ve been using Xeca, one of the less-actives in our ward, in our lessons with him, and in RS she bore her testimony about how helping out Joao has really helped her come back to the church. 2 IN 1 FAM. THIS IS WHAT MISSIONARY WORK IS ALL ABOUT!

Other random thoughts from the week 
    - there is really an exceptional number of Portuguese men that give us their contact information. Really just a lot. I think it´s great, but for some reason Sister Pereira doesn´t think they´re all that interested in the gospel. Hm. 
     - THE FOOD HERE. IS SO GOOD. AND I AM GETTING SO FAT. It´s really a problem. Part of me wishes we didn´t have 3 or 4 pastry shops right by our apartment.... and the other part of me gets at least one pastry every single day. Whoops.
     - So André is Brazilian, right?! I started off my fabulous baptismo talk by saying "Boa tarde irmaos e irmas, e para André, BOA TARGE!" (cause of their accent, ya know?! Brazilians? No?) and he kind of chuckled and I thought I would die of happiness and then later I told him it took me a good 2-3 days to think up that joke and he was DEFINITELY not impressed. Next time fam. Next time.     

Monday, April 13, 2015


(editors note: not sure if I got the right pictures in the right spot... I might have reversed Porto and Avintes... just FYI)


2. Still Porto

3. Avintes, my favorite place it´s SO BEATIFUL

4. Still Avintes

Another week bites the dust here in GAIA! It´s beautiful and the people are still crazy but wonderful and I love love love PORTUGAL! It can definitely be hard, don´t get me wrong, and I still don´t at all speak the language, but it´s such a privilege to be here and be doing the Lord´s work. WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Anyway, THIS WEEK! WAS SO GOOD!!! I THINK!!! I literally don´t remember basically anything that happened. We talked to a lot of people and knocked a lot of doors and taught a lot of lessons? More people told me that my skin is really pale?!!? People kept speaking to us in English after they heard how bad my Portuguese is?!? In other words, the norm.

We did have a zone conference this week for Easter and it was CRAZY good! President and Sister Fluckiger came up so I got to finally get to know them a little better, and they´re incredible. So loving and SO involved in the work. They seriously work so so hard to make this mission powerful. Love em! We had some good talks, some good practices, and some solid videos. I even understood some of it, so that was a bonus.

Remember that Capo Verdian AP that said I speak Portuguese pretty okay last week?!?! Well, right before the conference he called to ask if I would say the proposito, but he called the other sisters first cause he didn´t have our phone number, and Sister Harper told him to be nice and speak English to me on the phone since I was new. AND THEN he said he didn´t need to speak english, since I speak the best Portuguese OF ANY NEW SISTER HE´S EVER HEARD!! WHAT WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTt I was trying so hard to be cool when Sister Harper told me that but I may or may not have had a 10 minute dance party after that one. I don´t really understand it cause I literally think my Portuguese is horrific but HEY I´LL TAKE IT!! The members too, say I speak well and people in Portugal are pretty blunt so I like to think they mean it. Seriously though, I feel like I´m actually getting worse at this language, not better....

Claudia is supposed to be baptized this Saturday and we REALLY REALLY hope it all works out! Faith and prayers fam needed fam! She has to go through both her parents who are both skeptical, and she herself isn´t all that stoked for it. But she´s so prepared! She goes to church every week and had a 20 minute conversation with us about the Book of Mormon yesterday... GAH she´s so ready, I just wish she could see that and how important it is. But still, she is marked and we´re making plans and definitely fasting, like more than once, for this. VAMOS VER!! COM MUITO FÉ!!

Also can I just say we are SO very very blessed here. The ward is incredible and has really started to be more and more missionary minded now that we have our district here. They´re always willing to do lessons with us (this is RARE in Portugal friends) the Moças have been amazing at fellowshipping Claudia, the bispo gives us shoutouts in church and stuff, and our stake president who is also the ward mission leader works ENDLESSLY to help us out. I absolutely love it here! 

That´s literally all I can remember. Portugal is the best. Hard and the best. Thanks for all the love and support, I think about all of yall all the time and just love yall to pieces. I miss yall so so much but I wouldn´t be doing anything else than this! MUITO MUITO AMOR FAM!!!!!!

Sister Parkinson

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


So we didn´t have time to write yesterday because the library was closed, but since
it´s not Pday I only get 15 minutes to write today. So shoutout to all the lovely lovely emails I was diggin them all and I will try to respond next week! MUCH LOVE

This week was CRAZY CRAZY FUN! We had a zone conference on Wednesday that was really cool, the Porto zone is so great and we basically just did a million practices. I didn´t realize this at the time, but Sister Pereira and I were actually practicing with the AP the whole time. WHAT. It´s probably good I didn´t know or I would´ve freaked out. Basically the proudest moment of my whole life came when he said that I teach very well for it being my first transfer and that my Portuguese is pretty good. HECKAH YESSSSS FAM! This coming from the AP AND a Capo Verdian.... Yep, I felt pretty good about myself.
On Thursday we had this crazy amazing ward activity the other sisters and us made, where we basically just talked a little about Easter and painted eggs (the Portuguese people thought this was hilarious. I´m guessing egg-painting is a very American tradition). The best part was we had 5 PESQUISADORES and 10 MENOS ACTIVOS! Including our super cool investigator Joao, who I sent a picture of earlier. We origionally contacted him because he looks like a pirate (not pictured: his hoop earring) and he turned out to be the coolest person ever and MAKES MUSIC VIDEOS FOR STROMAE and also pretty golden. I´m excited for him!

We also MARKED CLAUDIA FOR BAPTISM THIS WEEK! I love love love this girl. 
She´s 14 and crazy cute and so fun to talk to. Commitments are very very difficult for the Portuguese people to keep and she doesn´t have a lot of family support, so please pray for this wonderful girl! We would absolutely love to see a baptism in this transfer, and Gaia hasn´t had a baptism in MONTHS. ORACAOS FAM!!

And this weekend was CONFERENCEEEEEEEEEE AND IT WAS SO AWESOME!!! I THINK!!!! We watched womens, priesthood (first time and I will ALWAYS watch it from now on, it was literally so great you men don´t even know) and the first session in English which was so very very nice! But we had pesquisadores for our other sessions so the rest were in Portuguese. I bet the Sunday morning session was REAL good, but I´ll have to wait to read it in the Ensign. Seriously though, I understood maybe a word or two the whole time. Whoops. Oh, and we weren´t even allowed to watch the last session because it was on past our bed time as missionaries. LOLZZZZZ I thought that was pretty hilarious. Missionaries not being allowed to watch conference. 

Other quick random thoughts of the week:
   - if there´s one thing Portugal has done it´s lifted my self-esteem, since the people are really blunt so they don´t mind telling you straight to your face that they think you´re beautiful. Then again, they also don´t mind telling you if they think you´re really white. I´m kind of depressed I added the word "neve" to my Portuguese vocabulary (snow) because it means I hear just how man times a day people compare my skin to snow.
   - for some reason it´s a Catholic or Portuguese or something thing to let of cannons on Páscoa?! Like real, actual cannons. From the Catholic church which is right by our house. Suffice it to say that at about 2 in the morning we all thought there was a) some sort of Revolution going on or b) the second coming
   - I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to the Portuguese bus drivers of the world for somehow managing to squeeze into very, very tight spaces and not kill the thousands of people walking on the roads even as the don´t slow down, like at all, when they see people walking. In another unrelated thought, I don´t think I ever pray as hard as I do when we´re riding the buses here.
   - We walk. And walk and walk and walk. AND I HAVE HECKA SHIN SPLINTS FAM. For real yall there´s a lot of walking going on. I hope I have nice calves when I come home.... Or at least at some point I can stop having to ice my legs every day when we come home.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Waiting on letter, but wanted to post pictures as she sent them

1. Françezinho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. Ward partayyyyyyyyy

3. Ward Partay with our investigator!!! We´ll talk more latah fam

4. Best Friend Pedro. He speaks English so we were budz