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