Monday, October 26, 2015

MIRACLES MIRACLES MIRACLES. And members and food and TEMPLES and miracles.

WHAT UP EVERYBODYYYYYYYY HOW ARE YALL DOINGGGGGGGGGGG. So we basically had the greatest week in the world here in Porto. Seriously though, this week ROCKED. We spent a good 20 minutes on Sunday just stopped in the street kind of shocked by all the good times going on this week. We have been struggling for so long out here and then BOOM having the greatest week ever. It completely rocks and we are just feeling blessed out here. AND GRATEFUL. YAY MISSIONARY WORK.

   - So first things first, THE SECRET IS THE MEMBERS. I have heard this about 2908259085 times and somehow have never been able to apply it.. Until this week? And like, sort of on accident? We were calling members to see how they were doing and all, and one of our awesome members invited us over for lunch (which lasted a solid 4 hours by the way. Shoutout to Portuguese culture). And then she just randomly CALLS HER LESS ACTIVE FRIEND and she comes up to hang out with us and we make plans to teach her husband who isnt a member. WAIT WHAT EVEN HAPPENED THERE. Part one of Sis A and I literally not even understanding our lives this week
   - And then PART TWO we went to Lilians house, this adorable 20 year recent convert who is basically Beyonce, and she was like "hey by the way my roommate wants to go to church" so HE COMES UP TO TALK TO US AS WELL and we have a solid lesson and basically Sister Anderson and I were just like WAT EVEN IS THIS. Like I said, we accidentally super successfully worked with the members this week and it just totally rocked
   - We are getting stoked for Halloween (its not really a thing here but we American missionaries are banding together to celebrate the heck out of it) so we decided to make the family classic pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They dont actually have canned pumpkin here but that cant stop a couple of hungry, determined sister missionaries. It ended up requiring going to 4 different stores to find pumpkins, USING REAL PUMPKINS and boiling them down to blend them to use them for the cookies. Looking back on what I just wrote thats actually not that exciting but we felt like we were on Master Chef or something
   - I keep forgetting to talk about this but it must be shared. Background: the capo verde community in the church always sits on the back row because a couple of them have rowdy kids and they all sit together. Then a couple weeks ago at church, I was talking to Lilian when church started and she was like "oh just sit here". Next to her. ON THE EXCLUSIVE ROW OF COLOR. I have never felt cooler in my life. It was literally a whole row of cool African people, and me, white and blonde right in the middle. I HAVE NEVER BEEN COOLER EVER.
   - this week we got the best news ever, announced in Stake Conference. THE TEMPLE IS BEING BUILT!!! Due to the fact that theres like 3% activity out here, a lot of people (myself included, oops working on building my faith fam) thought that it would never happen, but THEY JUST ANNOUNCED THE GROUNDBREAKING on December 5th. Prez Avelar announced it during conference and he could barely get the words out he was crying so hard. It was one of the most powerful and spiritual things ever to hear that annoucement, and it means SO MUCH to all the incredible and faithful members here. WE ARE GETTING A TEMPLE FAM!!!!!!!!
   - Speaking of stake conference, Sunday was one of the absolute best days of my entire mission. No lies, the literal best day ever. We went to go get Lilian for church with Edilson, the roommate we are now teaching, and then we walked past Presidente´s house right as he was pulling out of the driveway. So I waved and was feeling pretty good walking with our investigator to church, when prez pulls up and is like "hey are yall going to church? Get in!" HECKAH YES. Plus on the way there we also picked up Rui and Bruna, our recent convert and his friend we are also teaching. Yessssss. So we rolled into stake conference with our 4-person strong African crew in Presidentes fancy car. Actually the best thing ever.
   - BUT that wasnt the reason Sunday was the best ever, its because stake conference happened and since I have spent my entire mission so far in the Porto stake (lolzzzzzz yep I get made fun of for that all the time) I GOT TO SEE ALL OF MY LOVELIES FROM GAIA. IT WAS A RIDICULOUS CRAZY REUNION. The highlight of course being when Maria Jose shoved serveral small children out of the way to come give me a giant hug, or seeing Xeca dance through 3 groups of people to come say hi, or seeing my dear sweet recent converts Maria and Albertina right on the front row... Man I love those guys :´) And they asked a couple of people "by surprise" to give testimonies during the conference, and one of those was none other than AVELINO RAMOS PINHO. He talked about how he had just started living now, now that he has the true church. He also just got called as the secretary of the bishopric in Gaia. Wow, cue the proud mom tears. I was literally just in the back row the whole time, doing the sister thing and crying and freaking out and shouting "THATS MY RECENT CONVERT YALL" and basically just being a mess

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW OKAY I HOPE YOU ALL WERE READY FOR THAT NOVEL. I just have a lot of feelings?!?!?! But the point of this all is that MISSIONARY WORK ROCKS and I LOVE IT HERE WITH ALL MY HEART. Sometimes its hard and crazy but all in all, its the best thing in the world. CHURCH IS TRUE FAM

Love you all. Parabens to all of you that may have actually made it to the end of this email. FIQUEM BEM, TODOS

xoxoxoxoxxoxoxxoxoxo Sis P

Monday, October 19, 2015


WHAT UP EVERYBODY!! Another week down here in Porto Porto Portooooooo. In case you couldnt tell by the email title, SURPRISE, everyone is dropping us. AGAIN. Not sure what that is all about, I shower everyday and everything, but theres livro arbitrio and stuff like that in play and when it comes down to it, we do our best the Lord does the rest and then people make their own choices. Its still a little tough but WE KEEP ON KEEPIN ON

AND THIS WEEK STILL ROCKED. We finallyyyyyyyyy made our goal of finding news and it felt so, so good. We live about 904572095 miles away from the church and all of those 90359028 miles are our area, so its a little bit crazy and stressful and we kinda just work everywhere, all the time. But this week we decided to work more by our house (partial inspiration, partial laziness) and THERE ARE SO MANY AWESOME PEOPLE HERE AND IT IS SO GREAT. So we are still happy and rockin it out here in Porto!

Other happenings from the week:
   - Speaking of actually working in our area, on Saturday we found 2 different really cool families that live right by our house, and then right after our bispos wife called us (we live really close to them) and was like "hey yall want to come over for some cake right now?" and we were like HECKAH YES and basically it was a giant signal from the Lord like "you idiots, why do you think your house is where it is?!" So we have repented and stay close to home now :)
   - We met this slightly crazy, slightly amazing lady that adores us and is constantly shouting DONT GIVE UP whenever she sees us. Thanks, Eufrásia, we will not with that encouragement! She also loves quoting the New Testament and since thats my fav book of scripture I join in and we complete phrases together and she gets SO excited its hilarious. What would I do without Portuguese people in my life
   - Another crazy lady was trying to get points off of us from Lidl (grocery store that is doing some thing where you get points towards getting a plush toy every time you shop) so we just happened to combinar with her... In her house to give her the points... Hmmmmmmm. Yep we definitely didnt give her the points until we had taught the Restoration. Some people would call it bribery, Id say its following PME´s guidance to teach when you find, find when you teach am I right
   - Prez for some reason decided NOT to give people transport money this last week, and since Sis Anderson and I were a little confident on our money spending this week we ended up having 2 and 1 euros, respectively, for this whole week. Which meant getting REALLY creative on our baking when we had to make stuff for activities and baptisms as we slowly ran out of butter, eggs, then flour and sugar.... Yeah, pretty sure people arent as impressed with my baking skills after those last few sugarless cakes
   - Speaking of baptisms, the elders had a baptism!!! And since I apparently look like some neice of the lady getting baptized, guess who got to give a talk?!? Yeah... I actually dug out my dom do Espirito Santo talk from my 1st transfer and basically used all of that. What do you know, 5 transfers later and the Portuguese is still about the same. Thats probably a bad thing.
   - Being in the district with office elders just generally means a lot of food-making because you feel so bad for the poor things. And prez just cut down to having only 2 office elders, so Elder Merkle, for example, woke up WITH A STRESS BLACK EYE this week. Who even knew that was a thing?!?! Or maybe it just was a really intense comp inventory and theyre just not telling us.... Hahhaa yep so in other words everything is just peachy here in Porto

LOVE YOU ALL LOTS AND LOTS. Thanks for all the love and support and everything. Missions are the absolute best and its good to be able to share even a tiny part with yall once a week. CHURCH IS TRUE, BOOK IS BLUE

Much love xoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxx bjs

Sister Parkinson

Monday, October 12, 2015

TRANSFERS and 29058230985 lemon bars later

WHAT UP FAM!!!! Hope everybody is doing well back in the good old US of A. Another transfer is down here in the fabulous Portugal, Porto mission and...... (drum roll)..... EVERYTHING IS STAYING THE SAME! Im still here in Porto and still with Sister Anderson. Actually the biggest blessing in the world because 3 transfers in an area is THE WAY TO DO IT and I have developed this big, crazy love for this ward and for my dear sweet comp and it rocks to be able to soak it all in for 6 more glorious semanas.

THIS WEEK ROCKED AS USUAL. Lets see hereeeeeeeeeeeeeee:

   - Today we went down to the high class coast (Foz do Duoro) and got high class pastries and sat on high class benches by the beach and all around felt very high class. And also THE BEACH IS PERFECT and PORTUGAL IS PERFECT and Im pretty sure I live in paradise



   - We have kept doing our "coisa ousada" so this week went to the middle of Gondomar and tried to contact all the people there in a park and it turns out for some reason these are like the meanest people in Portugal?!?! Which resulted in me accidentally being involved in a giant TJ bible bash and also, this random guy who thought he could speak english whipping out this gem: "I DONT WANT IT, MY RELIGION IS ANIMALS. I AM LIKE BUDDA" and I couldnt even work for 15 minutes or so after that because I was laughing too hard
   - Sister Anderson and I have taken it upon ourselves to cast all of our district members as different characters in all the Disney movies and it has resulted in WAY too much laughter out in the road. Get ready for a reenactment of Beauty and the Beast by the missionaries of Porto 1 because we are pretty sure thats going to be our next Pday. Im sure the elders will agree......
   - Sis A and I both stayed but SUPRISE our dearly beloved Elder McGhie jumped from district leader to AP! I feel like a proud mom :,) and also really happy that I spent 2 transfers feeding him cookie after cookie because hopefully he will look back on all of those cookies and never make me do practices in zone conferences. Fingers crossed.
   - Speaking of which, whats the best way to do transfers when you are in the district with the office elders? Well I will tell you: make some cookies and then drop by right as they learn about transfers. We get inside because cookies and BOOM we know about transfers before everybody else. Hours and hours before. If there is one thing the mission has taught me, its that cookies are the solution to just about any and every situation. Remind me again why I am 25 pounds heavier than when I left?!?!

OK WELL I LOVE ALL OF YALL LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS. Keep on keeping on out there! Read your scriptures and eat less cookies than this girl!


xoxoxoxoxo Sis Parkinson

Monday, October 5, 2015


What up beautiful family and friends of mine! This week was a week of craziness and ALL GOOD TIMES as usual. The mission is such a crazy crazy blessing! We had literally 205938205 or so conferences and meetings and stuff this week so not too much to report but I will do my best to tell more ridiculous stories
    - First off, GENERAL CONFERENCE AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHTTTTTT. OH MY WORD IT ROCKED THIS YEAR AS USUAL. Unfortunately my district is full of missionaries that are good and old in the mission and are real confident about their Portuguese so they all decided that even though no one else was in the capela, they still wanted to watch it in Portuguese. "At this point I actually understand it better in Portuguese" was a real quote from this weekend. SPOKEN IN ENGLISH I MIGHT ADD. STRAIGHT LIES. But alas, I also do actually understand Portuguese so it still ended up being pretty freaking GREAT. Special shoutout to our 3 new apostles and once I get to read the talks in english I will give more updates about which talk was my favorite and all that
   - Also the language may have been a barrier but the bigger barrier was definitely the schedule. We got special permission from prez to stay out late and watch conference WHICH TOTALLY ROCKED and we had a giant African party at Irma Sambas house to watch conference at like midnight. And she has this giant really fluffy couches... Yep I was GONE. Sorry to any and all afternoon session speakers. I will study these later I promise
   - On Tuesday we had conselho da missao, WHICH I STILL SHOULDNT BE GOING TOO because I am STILL NOT AN STL and its basically just a whole lotta faca but I gave it my best effort and ate a ton of food so theres that. Plus seeing old mission friends is just one of the best things about this whole ordeal
   - Then on WEDNESDAY we had this crazy long amazing mission conference with President and Sister Amorim that was POWERFUL and amazing and also really really long. But we learned a ton and have already applied some things and seen a bunch of success from it all. Whaddaya know, President really knows his stuff.
   - Then on THURSDAY (are you seeing what I mean now, crazy week) we had our interviews with prez which actually rocked because I kinda just assumed that he kind of hated me for being really loud and a little bit crazy and kind of awkward always at his little lunches, and then he whipped out a "you are one of the missionaries I trust the most in this mission" and I was like IKGJODSOIJO WHAT and maybe started crying and I just really love the guy. My little Brazilian grandpa :,)

THATS BASICALLY IT FAM. I hope you all enjoyed conference and if you didnt you are WRONG go back and watch them all and feel the Spirit and all that jazz. Thanks for all the love and support always, you guys are the best and I love you all tons and tons and tons!!