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