Monday, June 27, 2016



Yooooooo so we got transfers on Tuesday and milagre of all milagres, SIS MAURICIO AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER. Hahahahahahahaha that's right, this dupla is kickin it together UNTIL THE FIM. We called all the members right away and they were like "EYOOOOOOO WE GON PARTY SO HARD" and it was the best moment of my life. Actually, when they called we both started screaming and jumping up and down and accidentally hung up on our district leader. Hahahahaha. All is well, all is well.

BUT THIS WEEK WAS POPPIN Y'ALL ALREADY KNOW. There's not actually too much to report but I'll do my best
   - Sooooooo Pres has this new thing where the APs don't have an area they just travel around and train people and now he has sister APs as well!!!! He doesn't call them that, but I do. Anyway, GUESS WHO WERE THE FIRST VICTIMS OF THE SISTER APs?!?!? We were just minding our own business on Wednesday and they called and were like "yo we're on our way to your house in an hour!!" so we scrambled about to double our plans and clean our house (y'all have seen the Best 2 Years, you know the drill) and it ended up actually being REALLY fun and chill and amazing!! Shoutout to the sister APs because they're not insane but ARE amazing missionaries. And it was hilarious bc I was out with Sister Moraes, who only has 9 months or so in the mission but is the hardest working person I've ever met, so she was like "you're way older than me in the mission, what advice can YOU give??" so it was pretty adorable and I also didn't manage much more than "eat at least 2 Big Macs a week" so I'm not sure she was impressed
   - Last Pday we got the gang together and played a crazy intense soccer game which I have been missing SO SO VERY MUCH. Then we died of heatstroke and are very hesitant to play since but hey, at least we had our moment of glory
   - THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A CABO VERDIANAN COMPANION ARE ENDLESS, FOLKS. This week said benefits included Sister Mauricio getting her hair done and some impromptu Cabo Verde party that included a WHOLE lotta Kizomba and also waffles, which Dizia calles "fafflas" because english is hard. Hahahahahahaha I love these people
   - Also I'm not even sure how but WE FIGURED OUT THE SECRET TO WORKING WITH MEMBERS. Literally I don't even know what we did but we are doing it so well. This week it was called a whole lotta laziness and inability to cook in our house (stay tuned to find out why) so we were like "Yo Debora, what do we need to do to get invited to your house for lunch" and she was like actually I would love y'all to come and my two friends from Porto are here as well and maybe you could go ahead and give them the first lesson while you're at it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA FAM. FAMMMMMMMMM. Sister Mauricio told me she was a pro a self-invites but I now have a testimony for myself that this is true
   - And as for why that self-invite was necessary, welcome to the life of truly poor people, everyone. So here in Portugal we have to buy our own gas to heat up the showers and use the oven, the works. Well we tend to cook and bake a LOT over here in Viana so our gas ran out for like the 9834209834th time this week and since it's the end of the month..... yep, we don't have any money so we're just kinda waiting it out, taking cold showers and trying to get ourselves invited to other peoples houses. Hahahahahaha the mission life. The situation just gets more and more hilarious every week.

Also PLEASE PRAY FOR MARIA EVERYBODY!!!! She was marked this week but she decided she just doesn't feel ready. And we're not about pushing or bothering people, pois não, but we KNOW she's SO ready and this is EXACTLY what she needs right now... we just don't know how to help her know that. So pray pray pray fam, we gon make miracles happen here!!!


xoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mi é dot na bo


This week was freakin rockin but y'all already KNOW because Viana is the best and missions are the best and life is the best. Heart heart heart

But basically
   - why yes, the subject line IS, in fact, me bragging about my vast creolo knowledge. It's actually not even in the least bit vast but it is enough to get MAD RESPECT from the Cabo Verdianan community. Not sure if it's the creolo itself or just the fact that I'm super blonde and the palest person most of them have ever seen and still manage to sort of say phrases in creolo but either way, I'LL TAKE IT
   - so yes, basically in our continuing preparations for our cultural party we did Cabo Verdianan things and Sister Mauricio taught me how to dance Kizomba and everyone was FLIPPIN A BIH watching the white girl be slightly less white than normal and then shortly afterwords I MADE A CREOLO JOKE, IN CREOLO and I think I could have died of happiness in that moment
   - in case y'all haven't picked up on my Cabo Verde rants in the last 3 weeks or so I am kinda slightly obsessed with Cabo Verde and it's wonderful people and I want to be like them and they think it's hilarious and I'm like a cute little white zoo animal "look everyone, this sister loves Cabo Verde and she's not even FROM Cabo Verde" and I just accept it bc this culture is too fabulous and African to resist
   - but moving right along, OUR PARTY WAS A SMASHIN HIT FAM. It took a ton of preparation which is kinda out of the box for us missionaries (we are well known for our last-minute party skills) but we involved basically everyone in the ward and it turned out to be so so so fun. Everyone presented their cultures and there was SO MUCH FOOD and I had 3 helpings of cuchupa with 0 helpings of regrets and all was well
   - speaking of food, since I am the only one from the US we asked the jovens to help present the good ol US of A with me. Which went super well but also I was like "hey fam what goodies should I make to represent this wonderful country" and left it open to whatever suggestion which led to me making, at midnight the night before (lolz tons of preparation am I right everybody) cookies, no-bake cookies, brownies, cake, AND BANANA BREAD. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF. I couldn't even appreciate my own extreme baking skills because I was too busy being annoyed at just how many times we had to go back to the store to get more butter and chocolate powder and sugar. Hahahahah if nothing else, at least this mission has taught me how to be a #domesticgoddess though am I right
   - I'm getting to this point where I literally can't remember anything that happens during the week besides "food party teach food noite familiar food missionary work teach food" and it's making writing these emails exceptionally painful and awkward A THOUSAND APOLOGIES FOLKS
   - As far as the actual missionary work goes though, THINGS ARE GOING AS SWIMMINGLY AS EVER. Honestly if I have learned one thing from this transfer it's that the Lord does everything, literally EVERYTHING in this work. Hahaha we have so many weaknesses and failures, and yet his work keeps chuggin along because it's not ours, ya know? It's His and He uses even goofy, trying-to-hard-to-be-African teenages like me as His instruments. Just a little inspiring thought for all the kids at home. Lolz. But basically, we're teaching one of the most amazing investigators I've ever taught in my entire mission rn and she casually TAUGHT PRINCIPIOS DO EVANGELHO this Sunday and she's marked for baptism this Sunday and we all prayin our hearts out SO JOIN US FAM and we will make Maria's baptism the greatest event since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon

Also just so everybody knows transfers are tomorrow so PRAY YOUR FACES OFF bc we have no idea what's gon happen and we gotta make these last 6 weeks the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry this email was ridiculous lolzzzzzz good thing this weekly email thing is coming to a close soon am I right



xoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

Monday, June 13, 2016

Party Crashing 101

What UP fammmmm TUDO BEM Y'ALL what is good in the hood for todos?!?!? This week was rockin ONCE AGAIN in the land they call paradise, Viana do Castelo. I love love love love LOVE it here y'all, and it's not just for the parties but it is probably 98% for the parties.

Which leads me to today's edition of Basic How-to-get-yourself-invited-to-every-party-ever, a 100-level class for all missionaries out there, taught by yours truly. In my current experience, I have found the following to be essential or at least exceptionally helpful in the process of being invited to parties:
   1. Have a Cabo Verdianan companion while living in a community of Cabo Verdianans
   2. Look hungry/use the extra pounds you have gained on the mission to show others you need nutrients
   3. Invite yourself to said parties
Again, these are just the basics, but by applying these principles you are garaunteed to see almost immediate success.

That'ssssss RIGHT folks, we spent literally EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. at one party or noite familiar or otherwise here in Viana. I have gained back every single pound I previously lost in Foz BUT I HAVE NOT GAINED ANY REGRETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PARTIES PARTIES PARTIES. Also além disso
   - So some of these parties are parties leading up to the party Sister Mauricio and I are planning for this Saturday, a cultural night. And if you want people to get excited about something, just ask a ward of half Cabo Verdianans to present something about Cabo Verde. Omg they are out of control IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY we have met everyday to come up with theatre pieces and dances and songs and other amazing things to show how amazing Cabo Verde is
   - And when I say "we" I mean Sister Mauricio and the rest of them because they never invite me, not sure what that is all about. Also everytime they play Kizomba I start GOING HAM because I love me some Kizomba and all of them are like "woah.... uh. You should probably stop", or they just shake their heads and laugh so pretty sure I'm winning the hearts of the Cabo Verde community one by one out here!!!!!!!!!
   - In all reality though I feel more accepted by the Cabo Verde community than ever before. Sister Mauricio taught me some clutch creolo phrases so on Wednesday at a noite familiar one of the members was like "yo sis mauricio speak some creolo with us" and she was trying to be nice so she was like "no, my comp doesn't understand creolo so I better not" and I from across the table was like "Uh COM LIÇENSA I actually do understand creolo, boi in ya boi" and all the Cabo Verdianans there were like EYOOOOOOOOO YAS SISTER P GET IT and basically I brought the house down and no other moment of my life has been better, ever
   - I subsequently had to teach the phrase "bring the house down" to Sister Mauricio to explain how clutch my creolo use was
   - Speaking of which, ENGLISH LESSONS ARE GOING SO WELL. I'm thinking of starting a course, English 101 with Sister P (the supplementary class to my Basic Party Crashing courses). Sister Mauricio can now successfully say the following: golddigger, sucks (Ele BEM SUCKS), homewrecker,"playing hard to get", and many more. I feel excellent about her progress.
   - But before anyone feels sad about me not taking advantage of this excellent opportunity of having a native companion, DO NOT FRET. I also have learned at least 2 very important Portuguese words
        1. interesseira: golddigger
        2. mulher camarão: butterface (if you don't know what a butterface is consult your local 14 year old boy). And it's genius out here because camarão is a shrimp and with shrimp you take off the head and only eat the body. YES. 10 POINTS TO PORTUGUESE
   - Alright alright alright, before anyone gets concerned with the missionary work out here, y'all should also know that EVERYTHING IS GOING SO WELL OUT HERE WE ARE RECIEVING SO MANY BLESSINGS IT IS UNREAL AND THE HAND OF THE LORD IS IN IT ALL, FOLKS. We only teach member references. GOD IS GOOD. We have a marcada for the dia 26 of June!! And she's a little hesitant but we had a super amazing lesson with her the other day where she said she's not totally sure why, but she already asked for work off on the 26th. And at all of these parties and noite familiars we find new people to teach, friends of members. Y'all. Church is true. Not sure I've ever been more blessed in my whole mission. I'M JUST HASHTAG GRATEFUL

Sorry for the ridiculous email LOLZ know that everything is freakin fabulous out here and that I love the mission and Viana and the Lord with all of my coração. Thanks for being the trillest fam. PEACE AND BLESSINGS Y'ALL


xoxoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

Monday, June 6, 2016

The week we worked in our area for exactly 4 hours


So this week was totally weird and also amazing and also annoying but all in all good. Allow me to explain
   - First off, WE WORKED IN OUR AREA FOR LIKE 4 HOURS THE WHOLE WEEK. FOR REALZ. Hahahah we had a bajillion things to do and we didn't get anything done here in Viana. And when we were here we were like "uhhhhhh... we don't have anyone to teach" bc we've just been doing baptism things and it's getting really awkward BUT the good news is, Viana is perfect and we're trying our hardest to work better with our members, so we already have a couple of family nights set up with friends of members for this week. And it doesn't get any better than that, folks. Heart heart Viana is the best
   - So on Wednesday Sister Mauricio was basically dying of illness and leg problems so we kicked it early and it was the night before a zone meeting, so obviously I had to make some sort of amazing treat for it. And for all the extra time I decided to come in REAL clutch and make not one, but TWO CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKES. Oh my word it was out of control. It also took like 7 hours and I don't know why, but at one point slightly before midnight I called one of my only slightly good friends in the office to be like "ELDER JONES ELDER JONES THERE'S CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE EVERYWHEREEEEEEE" and he was like "why are you calling" and I was like "CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE AHHHHHKDJFJFALOFDLKAJDLAJDSJL" and he was like "please stop" and basically I'm considering teaching a basic How To Make Friends 101 class because I'm just so good at it
   - So then on Thursday AT said zone meeting I a) killed it with the cake "PARKS AND REC COMIN IN CLUTCH" and b) had the best time ever going to the literal best zone meeting I have ever attended. Apparently Prez is worried about all of us being stressed out of our minds here on the mission so he asked us to chill out, so our zone meeting was just eating cake and playing games and singing Christmas hymns. LEGENDARY. Not only that but it was also super spiritual and inspiring. All of my many hats go off to our dear zone leaders and they're ability to be chill whilst also bringing the spirit. It is a talent, my friends.
   - Side note: in case anyone was wondering, yes, my nickname in the mission is Parks and Rec because, and I quote, "you wreck everything in the office". Oh
   - THEN on FRIDAY we had to go to the doctor allllllll the way in Braga for Sister Mauricio (this is another, actually important side note: keep Sister Mauricio in your prayers!!! Stay tuned to find out why) because she has been having a lot of health problems with her legs, and a lot more worrying, with her heart, including a pretty scary incident on Thursday. Anddddd since Portuguese doctors suck, we spent all day in the hospital for them to say that the pains she is feeling are "normal". So, keep the prayers comin fam!!! She and I and all the investigators we haven't been able to visit her in Viana thank you
   - But the funniest thing about all the hospital drama was that we ended up spending the ENTIRE day at the hospital, and then we missed the last bus back to Viana. Yep, youuuuu guessed it fam, SURPRISE SLEEPOVER WITH BRAGA!!!!! Hahahaha it was a party. And since Braga is the best and Sis Mauricio and I both served there, we even got last-minute invited to a dinner with some of my fav members. Hahahaha life is good <3
    - Sunday we had this crazy multi-stake Eastern Europe conference over satellite that was really really cool!!!!! But I admit I'll have to re-watch because a) IT WAS SO FREAKIN HOT AND I WAS DYING. Noooooo summer is here fam not sure I'm gonna make it and b) I sat next to a completely crazy investigator of the APs that was vacationing here in Viana and her comments were just too funny to resist the laughter

Alrighty I LOVE YOU ALL here's to hoping we work here in Viana this week and less time in Porto and Braga lolzzzzz


xoxoxoxo Sis P

THE BEST ZONE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 30, 2016



So THIS WEEK COMPLETELY ROCKED. ALL OF MY SOCKS WERE ROCKED OFF Y'ALL. No but on the realz this week was the trillest and I didn't think it was possible but I am lovin Viana more and more everyday!!! Hashtag blessed

   - First off, youuuuuuu guessed it fam THE DRY SPELL IS OVER and WE'RE DUNKING AWAY PEOPLE'S SINS AGAIN WOHOOOOOOOO Cristina officially got baptized yesterday!! Y'all. It ROCKED. She was so so so excited. And it's crazy because before she didn't have too much resolve, like she never came to church because she always felt sick and it was too early and whatnot. But leading up to this baptism she had to have 2 interviews in the morning and she's been crazy sick and her leg has been hurting but she keeps pressing on because she wanted to be baptized so badly. AHHHH CHURCH IS TRUE.
   - And the ceremony was perfect too, Viana is seriously a dream. ALL of the members came and we didn't do anything they did all the talks and musical numbers and Cristina was crying and it was so loving and perfect and the best. And Vanessa came too!! Right after Cristina was baptized Vanessa was like "I don't know how to explain it but she looks different. There's something different about her, it's like she's glowing". So cool. SO COOL. I LOVE THIS PLACE SLASH THE MISSION SLASH LIFE. It's moments like this that, even though it was crazy and stressful all leading up to it, make everything worth it. Gotta love it when people cumprir their compromissos and achegar mais perto de Cristo am I right or am I RIGHT
    - The good news about this baptism is that I, Sister Parkinson, was in my freakin element on Saturday and I turned up like no domestic goddess has ever turned up before. Sister Mauricio was ridiculously ill on Saturday so she spent a good 7 hours or so in bed and FOLKS. I DON'T KNOW WHAT CAME OVER ME BUT I WAS A MACHINE. I COULDN'T BE STOPPED. THE KITCHEN WAS ON FIRE. I honestly don't even think I'm being dramatic or over-the-top here. I made lemon bars, 7 layer bars, gingersnaps, AND buttermilk brownies and the reviews all came in 5 stars y'all everyone was raving on my baking skills and that could be the happiest I have ever been like I KNOW WHY I'M HERE ON A MISSION EVERYBODY it's to learn to use the baking talents God has given me no hidin this under a bushel y'all I am the luz para o mundo. Hahahahahahaha alright that got way outta control but just so everyone knows, I was a machine on Saturday and the treats at the baptism were 10/10 and I'm tryna be humble but it's hard
    - Sunday was also Stake Conference and it was super good and uplifting and also always a huge bênção to see people from Foz and Braga!!! The best part about it all though was that Viana basically WAS the conference, they were like half the choir and all the testimonies and the talks and the solos and everybody was like "woah Viana is so forte rn" and "dude Viana is crescering" and we're out here like YAS VDC REPRESENT. Best lil ramo in Portugal :')
    - So Sister Mauricio and I are on day 5 of a ridiculous rage fast and it's getting out of control. For those of you who haven't been to college or a mission, rage fasting is when you have no food or money. So you fast. Because you have to. And that's where we're at. This new month really needs to chegar bc the "We don't get money for another 5 days and we have 20 cents and 2 carrots" game is getting a little out of control. Not sure how much longer we can last before this is considered malnutrition hahahahahahaha #pray4vdc2k16

Alrightyyyyyyyyy that's all I got but as you can tell, minus the starvation this week has been fabulous and I'm lovin the mish as much as ever. Thanks also for the love and support from the gente back home, the prayers are definitely felt!!


xoxoxoxoxo bjnhs Sis P

1. She looks sad but I swear she's not. Whoop whooooooop

2. The whole fammmmmmm

Monday, May 23, 2016


WHAT UP FRIENDS AND FAMMMMMMM TA TUDO NA BOA CREW?!?! All is freakin BEM here in Viana AS ALWAYS and I fall in love with this place more and more everyday. Viana y'all, I still stand by this as missionary paradise.

So BEDNAR. BEDNAR BEDNAR BEDNAR. I could write my entire email about the man and his life-changing week because that pretty much WAS the semana. You guyzzzzz. Elder Bednar is the TRILLEST. The literal BEST. The conference was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Plus mission friends plus old ward member friends equals Thursday was the best of the best. I'll get to the deets in a minute

Basically this week:

   - First off Sis Mauricio is a DREAM at member relationships and it's the first area she's been in with other Cabo Verdianans which is great for her and all but I think it is possibly EVEN BETTER for me because I get to ride around and enjoy the benefits of her charismo and ability to speak Creole which include, but are not limited too: a) food, b) rides, c) food, d) parties, and e) food. Life is good, y'all
   - Second either my McDonalds influence is so far-reaching that it takes almost immediate effect or Sister Mauricio has just been tired of cooking, but either way we are back to our normal standards, folks. We had 3 Big Macs just in the last 5 days and I'm not even a little bit sad. Just proud :') remember when I thought for like a week that being with Sis M would make me eat less McDonalds??? Hahahahahahahahahaha but THE LEGACY CONTINUES
   - So to not have to wake up at negative o´clock to get to Porto for Bednar we decided to go up early and party it up with Matosinhos (you know I love them sleepovers fam) which ended up being the most ridiculous adventure bc the metro kinda stopped running when we got there and I was in pajamas and we were desperately trying to not see any other missionaries who were all also coming in that night..... Hahaha classic. I'm honestly not even sure how we got to Matosinhos safe and sound but I'm gonna hand it off to the ajuda do Senhor #grateful
   -  YO YO YO the part we've all been waiting for: BEDNARRRRR. So Thursday morning we had a 3 hour conference with him, just us missionaries, and it was a dream come true. He just kinda answered questions the whole time but it rocked so, so hard. The Spirit was so strong and he knew exactly what to say for everything and it was an so inspired and perfect and I think I cried about 15 times. We also all got to go up there and shake his hand and I'm pretty sure I said "whjafkjdfslah Bednar kfdlskjafslj" but he smiled anyway and that's how we know he is called of God. Seriously though y'all, he is most definitely an apostle of the Lord and this was literally one of the best experience of my life, hands down. Church is true folks and I'm so grateful for it and especially the fact that it's living and has men called of God to lead it.
   - Also that night we had another Bednar conference with all the members and it was equally as inspiring and, BONUS, EVERY LAST ONE of my areas was there and I got to see so many people and there is nothing, NOTHING better, fam!!! I'm 110% sure the people are the very best part of the mission

I have about 3092834 things to say but I'm out of time and vontade so again, sorry my letters get worse and worse but just know that I LOVE the mission and Viana and the gospel and life!!!!!!

AND ALL OF YOU. Thanks for being the best fam


fiquem bem gente

xoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

1, Viana, where the members treat us like Princesses. We taught a lesson during Pday so after they were like YO JUST STAY HERE AND DO EMAIL HERE'S OUT COMPUTERS HERES THE COUCH RELAX HERE'S FOOD WE LOVE YOU and it's all a dream come true

2. Big chunk of the gang

3. Taking investigators to the hospital for dayz


5. The crew Santa Luzia-ing


The whole mission was out and about and I somehow forgot to take ANY pics until the end when I realized it was probs the last time I was gonna see Sherrif Ward so I shed about 38972 tears and we took some pics

Monday, May 16, 2016

Viana and Food and Portuguese and VIANA


Sooooooooo transfers happened on Tuesday and I'M STAYING here in the wonderful missionary dreamland of Viana and I'm super super thrilled!!!

BUT the tristeza of this week slash the century is that my twin, my sweet sweet stepdaughter and 80% of why we recieved the self-awarded best looking dupla in the mission award, Sister Jenna Foote, LEFT ME HERE TO FEND FOR MYSELF IN VIANA. It was a hard loss, folks. A big hit. Y'all don't even KNOW.

Butttttttt the good news is my new comp is Sister Mauricio from Capo Verde and she is SUCH A BRO. We are already having a blast and I love her bunches and bunches. And Viana is just as perfect as ever so basically, tudo bem tudo bem.

So this week:
   - First off Sister Mauricio is fabulous and hilarious and the chillest and also doesn't speak english. So ya home girl Sista P, who has never lasted longer than 3 hours in any english fast she has ever attempted in MORE THAN A YEAR of mission-ing, is now on DAY 5 OF AN ENGLISH FAST. You guyz. You guyz. Hashtag prayers needed
   - No but I'm being a complete diva because there's actually 0 miscommunications between us I'm just lazy and love english. But I've already learned about 32987927 more things in the last 5 days than basically my whole english-speaking mission so who knows, I may learn this language after all!! Someday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   - The downside to all of y'all is that my funny stories are taking a hard hit. I'm about 85% less funny in Portuguese, possibly more so I'm drawing a huge huge blank on anything hilarious that has happened during the week. I may have to start talking about missionary work fam idk we'll see
   - OH I did think this was a good opportunity to loose weight since all Sis Foote and I ever ate was french fries and ice cream for breakfast BUT as it turns out SISTER MAURICIO IS THE BEST COOK EVER and she makes delicious cabo verdianan food everyday and it's incredible and I have a) shed tears over this food and b) ALREADY gained 4 or 5 pounds so say goodbye to anyone who still had hopes of me actually doing 6 months to sexy hahahahahahaha NOPE
   - So OUR INVESTIGATORS ARE SUPER COOL. Seriously this is probably the most potential I've ever had in an area in my mission since ever. We remarked Cristina to be baptized at the end of this month HASHTAG PRAISE THE LORD and she finally came to church this Sunday and love love loved it. She kept saying "quero fazer parte da família aqui" and "vou andar nisso até morrer" and wonderful little things like that all day Sunday. And it was adorable and basically, she's golden. Also we have the mom of a recently returned missionary who is basically walking herself into the fonte, plus a lot of other super cool people to teach. FEELIN GOOD FAM. CHURCH IS TRUEEEEEEEEEE

Ok this is ridiculous but I literally can't think of anything else to say. SORRY GENTE. I know I'm getting lamer and lamer IT'S THE MISSION'S FAULT I SWEAR

But on the realz, I love love love my mission and my comp and Viana and the Lord and I am super grateful as always to be out here doin this. Love all y'all too fam thanks for everything!!


xoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

It looks like Sister Mauricio transferred from an old companion of Carly's (Sister Kendall Runyan) so I stole a picture off of the old companions blog...  This is Sister Mauricio :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

987543983489 Ice Cream Cones Later

WHAT UP FAMMMMMMMM TUDO BEM GENTE WHAT IS GOOD IN THE HOOD. Also a happy freakin mothers day to any and all mothers and especially mine who happens to be the very best of the best!!!!

IT WAS A ROCKIN WEEK. AS ALWAYS. Let's see hereeeeeee
    - SKYPE SKYPE SKYPE. Y'all I have the best family in the world. Thanks for putting up with my terrible jokes and always talking about McDonalds, the works. We got to go to Antonio and Rosalina's house and they were pretty darn adorable and tried real real hard to converse with my parents, somewhat successfully and fed us delicious food and it was just all-around the best. We are super ridiculously lucky here in Viana my friends!!
   - Divisions. Hahahahahahahahahaha. You guys. I think I've written enough about Sister Cahill here that y'all know she is one of my very very best mission friends and we're kinda the same person and when we get together it's a little ridiculous. Well, guess who's also my sister training leader?? And took me downtown to Matosinhos for a solid 2 days so that we could PARTY IT UP and eat ice cream on ice cream and talk and laugh and have the best time ever. Again, not sure how this was allowed to happen slash who's idea this was but I have 0 regrets. I also learned some good things and we set important goals so no worries, fam, it was productive too. Lolz.
   - Since I was supposed to work with Cahill in her area, that left the two babies, Sister Foote and Sister Cahill's EVEN NEWER comp up here in Viana by themselves. They're also 2 of the most beautiful people in Portugal or possibly just the world so there were a lot of intense prayers being sent their way from our end. But they survived it just fine, fought off a lot of creepy college boys with the classic "no hablo Portugese" (I taught that one. So proud :') and also ate a lot of ice cream.
   - Then we got back together and talked about our division over a couple of bars of ice cream. For breakfast. You see where I'm going with this one??
   - Thus the subject line is as such. I don't know if there's a limit to how much ice cream is safe to eat in the week but I am at least 98% sure I've already crossed the limit by like 15 ice cream bars. We also got stuff for Sunday Sundaes bc we knew we'd be sad post-skype and basically, if anyone ever questions why I'll be coming home 45 ish pounds heavier, y'all already KNOW. Two words. Ice cream.
   - We also had some super cool experiences this week!! I think the best was Saturday, when Sister Foote and I both felt like it was time to visit Christina and Vanessa again. Vanessa still feels the same, but talking to Christina was literally incredible. She went on and on about how sad she's been feeling since we left, how she's been thinking a lot and praying about it and she knows that the church is what she needs to be doing. She said she just has this feeling in her heart that tells her not to leave this, to keep going and keep learning. And she said it doesn't matter what her family says, she knows this will make her happy and she wants to "andar na igreja". MILAGRES YOU GUYS. ACONTECEM. It was a super powerful moment and I'm really really excited to keep working with her because she is adorable and the best and really feels and recognizes the Spirit.
   - On top of that, this next transfer is looking like it's gonna be literally killer. We have a ton of member references coming through that look like they're going to be super successful, the ramo is AMAZING and we've set some high goals to be better and do better. So shoutout to next transfer and the next few months, I'm super super excited to see what comes next!!

Also, I LOVE Y'ALL. And I love love love the gospel. There is literally nothing better than getting to testify about all the stuff I know to be true and watching people feel the Spirit. As crazy and challenging and sometimes heartbreaking as the mission is, it's been the absolute BEST experience in the world. I'm so grateful I'm out here fam. CHURCH IS TRUE, BOOK IS BLUE

much love fammmmmmm fiquem bem

xoxoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P


1. Look at how perfect the beach is awwwwwww

2. I was trying to be artsy idk fam

4. Ok I know my eye is closed bc sun but LOOK WE'RE ON A BOAT AND SIS FOOTE IS ADORABLE

Monday, May 2, 2016



So another week down here in Vianaaaaaaa and it is as beautiful and fabulous and beachy and food-filled as ever!! I literally adore it here. Plus my comp is the best best BEST so that helps about 400%. LIFE IS PEACHY

Let's seeeeeeeee:
  - First off THANK Y'ALL SO MUCH for the love and prayers and everything that y'all do. Yes the last 2 weeks were slightly horrible haha and yes we're not totally into smooth sailing yet but I have felt more love and peace this week than basically ever before and I KNOW it's from all the prayers that y'all have been sending. Seriously, you have no idea how much it helps. Y'all are the greatest. I am so so lucky to have the best friends and fam around!!! :')
   - Second I'm realizing that I have hardly anything to say about this week so I am gonna whip up the best stories I can fam sorry if I failed on the delivery keep the prayers coming on behalf of this email
   - So that email title though. It was all I could come up with to describe a good chunk of this week, which was taking hour-long bus rides to visit less-active members who weren't even home. And what can you do on an hour-long bus ride when you have a tray of lemon bars covered in tin foil?? Use the tin foil to make grills and sing Beyonce songs in the back of the bus, you say?? Yes, folks, Sister Foote and I are officially back in middle school. But hey, at least we were entertained.
   - Also after we hit up 2 different parties last week we have discovered the sad realization that I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PARTY. Like at all. The mission experience has sucked all the fun out of me. Luckily I have a pretty fresh comp so she has made it her personal duty to re-teach me how to be a normal person and party and dance before I hit up the Y again. It's a long process, y'all. But we gonna perserverar até I no longer feel the need to panic fist-bump in any and all party situations
    - Every week I surprise myself more and more at my ability to eat every pastry in sight. And every week I think to myself "I have eaten more ice cream and McDonalds and chocolate crossaints than is humanly possible" and then I go an out-do myself YET AGAIN. I'm not sure how it's still happening but I tell you what, that's real. Also shoutout to McDs bc that new burger they have is fantastic. 10/10 would recommend
   - We have been focusing so hard on our marcadas that then fell that we've had to make the sad realization this week that we basically have no investigators. Yep. Roughin it. SO the re-finding has begun and has led to both weird, sketchy situations (i.e. teaching a guy in a one-room apartment that DEFINITELY had mice running around the floor) and miracles!!! (i.e. one of the best first lessons I have had in a long long time). Church is true and I will never get tired of teaching the first lessons and remembering that.
   - Plus one of our cool new investigators texted us yesterday and said, in english I might add, "hey sister could you do me a favor do you have a dollar bill" and we said nope sorry we dont and he said "ok thanks" so again, a lot of potential there. Look our for that baptism here em breve y'all.

Sorry my stories are as lame as they get hahahaha I was doing whatever I could here. But know that I still love love LOVE my mission and my comp and Viana and I am happy as can be. Thanks for EVERYTHING Y'ALL


xoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

I know I haven't sent picz in forever MY B so hey here's to a new week

1. That one time we went to the border of Spain and Portugal whoot whoot

2. Us being adorbz at Bom Jesus!!!

(pictures from her companions blog)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



This week..... Hahahhaa.... This week.

Not gonna lie, this wasn't my most favorite week ever but Sista Foote and I still did our best to keep kickin' it here with class and sass here in the VdC!! More sass than class. Also not sure how I came up with that phrase.

But basically
   - Due to a little thoughtlessness on my part (y'all already know), we got our phone taken away for a week!!!! HAhahahaha we felt like a) middle schoolers and b) amish people since we have been using pay phones, yes folks, PAY PHONES all week. I honestly thought pay phones were more for decoration but whaddya know, they apparently make phone calls too.
  - This has led to our classic hashtag, #prayforourphone2016vianadocastelo. We have referenced it all week and nobody understands but ya know what fam, #pfop2k16vdc lives on
  - The good news is, before giving said phone away we got down some clutch numbers and, since we didn't have a phone anyway, went ahead and did the resposible missionary thing and prank called a bunch of other missionaries. "Hey is your refrigerator running?? .... You better go catch it!!". They didn't laugh but I did. I really really did.
  - P.S. We did actually get our phone back!! Wohoooooooooo we had our regularly scheduled interviews with Prez this week so we are back and better than ever. Also in case anyone is wondering, Presidente and I are just as good of friends as ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   - Now for the other sad news. Our investigators, Christina and Vanessa, that were progressing towards baptism this weekend, broke up with us last night. They were offended by a member and they don't want to quit smoking or go to church or change. I have really really grown to love them and we feel the Spirit so much in their lessons that is was super heartbreaking. I asked to say a closing prayer before we left, which ended up being a bad idea because I couldn't stop sobbing for like 20 minutes. I know they'll accept it someday, and it must just not be their time, but it's still so hard to let people go that we love so much!!
  - So basically the moral of the story is Sister Foote and I spent the majority of this week just eating tons and tons of ice cream and french fries and re-watching Legacy and crying. Six months to sexy, folks. And the mission life.

Hahaha no but on the realz, I love the mission. I really do. I have learned so so much and made the best friends and have had the most incredible experiences. I love being able to testify everyday to people about my Savior and getting to spread his love. And there's a lot of work to do here so I'm excited to get out and be better and love and serve even more.

Thanks for all the love and support from everyone!! Y'all are the b-e-s-t.


xoxoxoxoxo bjnhs Sis P

Monday, April 25, 2016


Hey heads up we don't have time today so we'll be emailing tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Viana Viana Viana

First off SORRY SORRY SORRY to all those that emailed me and I wont be able to email back ily all todos todos but we are in Braga and about to get on a train so SORRY

Second HECKAH YES WE'RE BACK IN BRAGA YOU ALREADY KNOW I CAN'T STAY AWAY FROM MY OLD AREAS. Braga for lyfeeeeeee. Sister Footé had to see Bom Jesus and we had to eat district pancakes and district McDonalds and district ice cream. You know the drill, fam.

Third OMG IT WAS A GREAT WEEK, FOLKS. It always always always is and it especially is when a) you are serving with possibly the greatest missionary that exists HEARTS FOR SISTER FOOTE BC I LOVE HER TO DEATH and b) when you're in the greatest little Ramo in the world.But on the realz yesterday in church I was sitting there and not even being social and within like 7 minutes WE GOT INVITED TO 3 DIFFERENT PARTIES. FOR THIS WEEK. Not sure how slash why but I WILL FREAKIN TAKE IT am I right or am I right. I am seriously loving it here and life is so darn peachy I am happy as can beeeeeeeeeee

So this week
   - ZONE CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prez was bringing out all the stocks and I was as inspired as a person can BE. Seriously though, we are here with a purpose and we are building the church here in Portugal and ITS SO GREAT TO BE DOING THAT. Also it was as fabulous as ever to see all the mission franz and to party it up at, you guessed it, McDonalds. Life is good.
   - We have an investigator, Lurdes, who is basically just our grandma together with our other Portuguese grandma, Filomena, a recent convert. So this week Lurdes was like "hey y'all want to get giant burgers" and we were like "uh obviously do you know us at all Lurdes plz" and she was like "OK FRIDAY IT IS" so we go to get our giant burgers and it turns out the place she wanted to go was like 2 hours away, right on the border of Spain (still our area. Hashtag perks of Viana) and we took a bazillian pictures and partied it up and listened to classic Portuguese song after classic Portuguese song.
   - Sister Foote has been dealing with me all week, bless her. And since we have both been slightly stressed and going crazy we decided to dedicated Wednesday night to eating 8 ice cream cones, listening to Enya and meditating. I have 0 regrets. This is why Sister Foote is my soul sister. Also a billion other reasons that include and are not limited to: equal love of ice cream, hilariousness, and being the best. Not sure how else to describe this bromance but it is REALER THAN REAL
   - Y'all know I'm not really one for talking about invesitigators but we have some really chill ones and IT IS SO WONDERUFL TO SEE THEM PROGRESS AND STUFF. Cristina and Vanessa agreed to be baptized IN THE OCEAN 2 weeks from now so get those prayers up and runnin and I know we will see miracles here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so so so sorry this is literally the most lame an email could possibly be but know that I am safe and sound and partying it up with life here in Viana. LOVE Y'ALL TONS AND TONZZZ THANKS FOR EVERYTHING GENTE


xoxoxoxo bjnhs Sis P


Everyone is being really cute in this picture.

And then there's Cahill and I.

What's new am I right.

pictures from her companions blog

Good donuts


This is Filomena and Lurdes (our portugues grandmas)

Monday, April 11, 2016



This semana was fanfreakintastic as usual!! I love love LOVE Viana with all my heart, já. And I love food and this week was fun of both so WHAT MORE COULD ANY SISTER MISSIONARY ASK FOR
   - So speaking of food, as it turns out "Viana do Castelo" is Portuguese for "has a wonderful, loving branch that hasn't had sisters in 9 or so years so gets really excited and loving towards us" which QUER DIZER approximately 6987354987 member meals a week. Duuuuuuuude. It is excellent and simultaneously ruining my life slash digestive system. I forgot what it was like to get lunch then a lanche then a dinner all in the same day but I was literally crawling home on Friday. 4 months to sexy????? Uhhhhhhhhh
   - The good news (for Mama P) is this means my McDonalds intake has dramatically decreased. We're talking only 2 BigMacs this week, people. The bad news (for me) is that this means my McDonalds intake has dramatically decreased. I'm sentiring the falta, people.
   - Also, THE PEOPLE HERE ARE SO COOL. Not sure how many times I can say that but on the realz I love love love love love this branch!! It doesn't even feel like serving in a brach bc everyone is so loving and supportive and there is SO MUCH FOOD. I also was talking to a branch member yesterday, and as it turns out this branch was only formed 12 or so years ago and had like 4 members. And now there's already 45ish strong, active ones with a bunch more to come and its really inspiring and awesome and basically, I just love it here.
   - Also our investigators are not too shabby either!! We have a family that we marked this week in a SUPER CRAZY powerful lesson. We were talking about baptism and how we get the blessing of being clean and pure, and the daughter, Vanessa, who is 19 and cute as a button, was like "ah I would love to be able to be baptized again and have that" and it literally took everything I had to not jump up and down and just coolly and calmly (let's be real, those are my trademark qualities right there) be like "you can, you can be baptized by authority and have these blessings!!" and she immediately was like "EU ACEITO, EU ACEITO". So cool. We're currently planning her baptism IN THE OCEAN for next next week and I will either cry or jump in the ocean with her. Or both.
   - Zone meeting happened this week and you know what that means, PARTY PARTY SEE OLD FRIENDS AND PARTY. Actually shed some real tears when I saw my old district in Braga, no lies. And it ended up being basically a personally Sister Parkinson tailored zone meeting bc a) we sang a Christmas hymn and b) Elder Sutton gave some crazy inspiring message about the 1980 olympic hockey team which we all know is my FAVORITE FREAKIN STORY and our new zone theme is "você acredita em milagres??" WHICH ANSWERS ITSELF BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY A MILAGRE TO TALK ABOUT THE OLYMPICS AS A ZONE FAM. And c) zone McDonalds afterwords
   - The weather is being a bih this week and last night we got caught in a legitamate hail storm out in the streets. Hashtag pray for the sisters of Viana. Luckily my dear friend Sherrif Ward called right in that moment so we at least got to take advantage of the opportunity and say things like "Aw HAIL NO" and "WHAT THE HAIL IS GOING ON HERE". Concencrated missionaries, folks
   - Speaking of phone calls, we've been cleaning out our phone and calling old investigator's numbers, and then I noticed there was a TON of missionary numbers as well so I was like "uhhhhhh might as well clean these out while we're at it am I right fam" so on Friday I found myself talking to some duplas from the Açores, the Algarve, and MY VERY OWN MTC COMP SISTER SELK in Lisbon. I have never had more fun in my life. God is good people
   - Also in case anyone is wondering SISTER FOOTE IS A GEM. The literal greatest. We spend basically every moment crying our eyes out because we're laughing so hard, usually at really stupid things. #blessed
SPEAKING OF WHICH SORRY THIS IS TAKING SO SO LONG I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS, OKAY?!?!?! But on the way to district meeting in Povoa I wasnt paying attention and I WALKED STRAIGHT INTO A POLE, face-first and then fell over because a) I hit the pole really hard and b) I was laughing so hard I couldnt even breathe. In other words, I am just as cool as ever fam!!!!!!

OK I AM DONE I SWEAR. Sorry fam apparently I had a lot of stories no ragrats?!?!?!?!?


xoxoxoxoxoxo bjnhs Sis P

Monday, April 4, 2016


Before I start on my crazy weekly rants, I have to take a minute to give some tribute to Grandpa Parkinson. Last Monday Presidente called and asked us to go down to Porto. I just assumed it was another surprise interview because I have those a lot, but it was so that he could tell me Grandpa Parkinson had passed away on Easter Sunday. It was totally and completely unexpected and I could help but cry and cry and cry in his office. I got to talk to mom for a while on the phone which was really great, and Presidente reminded me how blessed we are to know the Plan of Salvation and know that Grandpa is still with us, in a better place, doing the same missionary work that I'm doing here.

So, I love you Grandpa!! It was so great to hear about the funeral and how much of a legacy he left. He will always, always be remembered for being so loving, and caring to all of us. And FUN! I'll never forget the motorcycle rides or the fun-shaped pancakes or the trips out to the canyons to go fourwheeling. And I am so, so grateful to know about God's plan and know that we will all see Grandpa again and that we can all be together forever as a family. The church is true everybody!!

BUT ALSO, it was a crazy wild rollercoaster ride week so BUCKLE UP KIDS cause I have 908520930982 things to say!!!!!!!
   - First, that subject line. That's right, folks. As impossible as it seems, your very own Sis P is now a proud mom!! Alright, step mom. YEP, I'M 2ND TRANSFER TRAINING. Prez pulled me in after my Monday interview and was like "by the way você vai ser treinadora" and I handled it real cool and classy and was like "WOAH A SERIO" and started kinda hyperventalating and he was like "calm down or you I'll change my mind". Not really, but that's how I felt. Ya girl Parks has a step baby!!
   - Second, plot twist of all plot twists, after only 2 transfers in Braga I GOT MYSELF TRANSFERIDA and I'm hitting up VIANA DO CASTELO!!! It's basically Spain and about as far away from Porto as you can get (I see you, Prez) and it's also PERFECT. FOR REALZ Y'ALL. It's by the ocean which I have missed with all my heart (not sure what I'm gonna do when I'm home and land-locked again tbh) and it's the cutest little town and it has THE COOLEST BRANCH EVER. My first branch!! I was a little skeptical about it but honestly, this branch is cooler than most wards out there. And we have a branch goal to turn ourselves into a ward by 2017 so LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOO and everybody start them prayers for the Ramo out here!!!!
   - So Tuesday I took the trek out here and then Wednesday we went down to Porto for a training meeting with Prez!!!! Which basically made me want to pee my pants the entire time but it was also really inspiring and here's to hoping I don't fail at parenting!!!!!
   - Also, speaking of the baby herself, IT'S SISTER FOOTE AND SHES FROM UTAH AND SHE IS THE COOLEST OF THE COOL. THE BEST OF THE BEST. I already luh her tons and tons and tons. And honestly she is basically already trained so I'm not sure what my job is other than to press "play" on the DVD player for the district videos she has to watch. Do one thing, do it well am I right
   - As I'm sure you all were wondering, Viana has 3 MCDONALDS. It was the first thing I asked about when I got here. Also Sis Foote's old trainer was talking me up before she left (shoutout) and she was like "oh Sister Parkinson will challenge you in tons of different ways" and Sis Foote was telling me this and I was like "YEAH DUDE 4 BIG MACS A WEEK CAN YOU DO ITTTTTTT". Its proabably one of these weeks of training, yeah? Mom of the year award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   - CONFERENCE CONFERENCE CONFERENCE. It was the absolute greatest thing in the whole world!!!! I seriously cried and laughed and felt the Spirit for all 100 hours of it. Also, we watched basically the whole thing in english SHOUTOUT AMERICAN NEWBIE but we did watch one in Portuguese cause we had some pesquisadores (and by some I mean 5. FIVE. Told y'all Viana is the promised land) and I surprised all, especially myself by understanding the whole thing and somehow having turned into a snobby Portuguese person that gets annoyed when the Portuguese is Brazilian. Whaddya know

I'm sure I will have 25098058023 billion more crazy stories next week but that's all I got for now!!! Have a good week fam MUCH LOVE ONE AND ALL

xoxoxoxo bjnhs Sis P

New address

Guess who got transferred again!! Whoot whoot PLOT TWIST!!

I'm in Viana now and it's basically Spain and also really beautiful and super cute and I'm lovin it. It looks like I will probz end my mission here hahaha crazy crazy crazy!!

Here's the address:

Sister Carly Parkinson
Avenida Rocha Páris
nº79 2ºesq frent
4900-053 Viana do Castelo

Monday, March 28, 2016

Braga's Semana Santa and 87253987 processions later

WHAT UP FAM TUDO BEM TUDO BEM. Hope everything is tudo na boa and everyone is feeling fine and that PÁSCOA PÁSCOA PÁSCOA was a BLAST for tudo mundo!! Yayyyyyyy Easter

Speaking of Easter, we just so happened to be in the absolute best place in all of Portugal to celebrate the holy day. But really though, they call Braga the Rome of Portugal because everyone and their dog is Catholic so they put on a huge, HUGE FESTA for Easter and theres a billion tourists and churros on churros and CRAZY PROCESSIONS all day, everyday. I felt culturally enriched out of my mind all week!!! And also fat because you know, churros.

Soooooooooo for the week:
   - we took another surprise visit down to P-town Porto (why do these keep happening) and ended up having a bunch of extra time before our train left so we were like AMERICAN sTORE??? And mosied our way down (and by mosey I mean run. Run for the mac and cheese) and WENT SO HARD YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE. Pretty sure I spilt a tear or two in the Dr Pepper aisle. As Sister Runyan pointed out, we've been in Portugal long enough that we get excited about a little taste of home now instead of Portugese food. Maybe that explains the daily McDonalds cravings??
   - so ABOUT THESE PROCESSIONS. YOU GUYS. Wednesday night there was one that went through the full Bible, from Abraham to Christ and everything in between, feat. a wooden Mary being guided on a donkey through the streets. Thursday they had the "ferricocos", which are guys dressed head-to-toe in black (literally, with eye holes cut out of their black sheets) carrying fire and noise makers and calling people to repentance. And Friday had Christ on the cross (again, literally, a literal person being carried through the streets on a cross) and Saturday was THE BURNING OF JUDAS AT THE STAKE. What did I tell you fam THEY DONT MESS AROUND WITH EASTER HERE. It was the biggest party in the world and I think I will come here for Semana Santa every year
   - Also for Easter nobody was at church so bispo came in clutch and cancelled the last hour of church. Hahahahahahahhaah THE IRONY. And no one actually invited us to eat with them for Easter so we had a huge district Easter party!!!!! Problem is, we are at the end of the month and none of us have any money.... or food.... so we pooled ALL of our resources at the capela and ended up making mashed potatoes, some kind of feijoada-thing, and french toast. The greatest Easter lunch ever???? Possibly. You decide.
   - Friday we had a ward activity and it was a blast. Actually it was great because normally nobody shows up for missionary activities here and we managed to get like 8 pesquisadores there!!! We couldnt get the church website videos to work so we ended up having to pull up the second stringer "To This End Was I Born" which is a TINY bit intense and kinda dropped the cheery mood by like 400% but what can ya do. We pulled it back with a bazillion cookies and lemon bars and goofy games and everybody really loved it!!! Success squad
And on the realz I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!! We really focused this week on Luke 24:5-6 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 together, and how since Christ resurrected all of us will resurrect. Thats the miracle of Easter, folks!! Christ LIVES and because of that, we will all live again. And I am so blessed and grateful to know all that and to get to share it!!

Wait, me saying spiritual things??? What happened??

Hahahahahaha alrighty thats all I got for the week fam but I LOVE YOU ALL TONS AND TONS.


much love from the Portuguese Rome

xoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

P.S. sorry I suck and I didnt actually take any pics of anything this week but yall can probably mooch off my comp or something??? Whoops MY BAD

(Carly forwared the following picture from her comp)

And as suggested... stolen from the companion!

Monday, March 21, 2016

This is gonna be the best day of my lifeeeeeeeeee


So I spent all of Saturday morning preparitorily (is that a word? Prepar-a-torily??) singing the subject line song at the top of my lungs and I think I can safely say that Saturday did NOT disappoint. IT WAS POSSIBLY THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFEEEE. NOT JUST MY MISSION LIFE BUT POSSIBLY MY WHOLE LIFE. THE CHURCH IS TRUEEEEEEE EVERYBODY.

So basically, y'all all know Sandra and Hélder, the family I taught in Porto that were getting married slash baptized on Saturday. We actually got permission from Prez to go!!!!!!! But we had to have an investigator, which for lazy Portuguese people to spend their Saturday going all the way down to Porto to go to someone's baptism they don't know, is actually harder than it looks. So we dedicated our whole week to finding someone to go with us, we were praying our faces off everyday, the works.

Finally it gets to Friday and we STILL HAD NO ONE. So the prayers got more intense and the convites got more and more desperate (we were calling and inviting people that the Elders were like "sisters, you have a problem" i.e. the schizophrenic ward member's crazy sister and the ward hobo's crazy uncle) and finally in complete determination I decided to fast until we got someone to go with us. And for anyone who knows me even a little bit, you know that THAT is real sacrifice right there, friends. Girl loves her food.

And honestly, this was probably the most faith-filled I have ever been in my whole life. Person after person was calling us and telling us they couldn't go but I somehow just KNEW that we were going to find somebody and was completely peaceful about it the entire time.

Flash forward to the 23rd hour of a 24-hour fast, we are in correlation meeting and we get a call from Catarina. BACKGROUND: Catarina is this adorable menos-activa in our ward, Felipe is her non-member boyfriend. They need to get married so Felipe can be baptized. Basically the same situation as Sandra and Hélder so we had really, really wanted them to go to this baptism but they hadn't showed any intrest at all. SOOOOOOOO we randomly get this call from Catarina and she's like "hey whats up sistas" and Im like Oh not much also WHAT ABOUT THIS WEDDING BAPTISM THING. And shes like "idk but call Felipe" and so I did and he was like actually that sounds pretty cool yeah we should go when can I come get you


AHHHHHHHH AIHFOIWJLKCJAJSDSAKLJDA YOU GUYS. MILAGRES ARE REAL AND THEY HAPPEN. And like, I know it wasn't that big of a deal but thats what made it so amazing, ya know?? Because it wasnt a huge thing but since it was really, really important to me the Lord made it happen. THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE. YOU GUYS. IT IS SO TRUE. Fasting is real, prayer is real, and the Lord wants us to be happy even through the littlest things.

And yep, we made our way down to that wedding and baptism and it was THE. GREATEST. I was bawling the whole time. Sandra looked perfect. They were so happy. OH AND FREAKING BONUS, there is a recent convert and her daughter that we always hung out with in Foz and her husband was never that interested in the church, then I get there and SUPRISE find out that PAULO WAS ALSO GETTING BAPTIZED. YOU. GUYS. I cannot even EXPLAIN to you how happy I was. IT WAS THE LITERAL GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD. And Felipe totally loved it, it was his first time seeing a baptism and he kept being like "this will be me one day everybody". AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

So, yep. That was pretty much our whole semana, or at least the most important part. There were also some crazy Easter Catholic processions and crazy investigators that answered the door without pants and super drunk recent converts. Ya know, the usual. But BASICALLY everything is perfect and missions are the best and thats all that matters.

MUCH LOVE TO ONE AND ALL. Thanks for the love and prayers and all that jazz. Y'all are the bestttttt.


xoxoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

Sooooooooo Im finally back with more picz for the fam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last week Matosinhos came up and partied with us and it was the actually greatest

1. All the ladiez at Bom Jesus

2. Part 2

Also after my now super famous Bom Jesus selfie, a part 2 with my gurl Sis Cahill just had to happen

also today we went to Guimarães and went to a REAL LIFE CASTLE WOHOOOOOOOOO

Monday, March 14, 2016


What up everybodyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy HAPPY MONDAY!!! TUDO BEM TUDO MUNDO???!!! I hope the semanas forem boas and everything is correring tudo bem!!

SO WE HAD A GREAT WEEK IN BRAGA COMO SEMPRE. But seriously, I love this place with all of my heart, Braga is the best best best best best!! The crazy people, the crazy wonderful food, the crazy good food, everything. How did I ever get so blessed??!?!?!

But for this week I honestly cant think of anything to share lolz sorry fam here we goooooooo

   - That email title though. Sis Runyan was trolling hard this week so she found a thing on our phone that cuts phone calls at 5 minutes. I, being one who loves my phone time, did not take it well. I assumed it was a mission thing and went completely crazy and decided we were in a communist regime and was planning on making my email title "Back in the U.S.S.R."... but ya know, since that wasnt actually what was going on, now its just the Red Scare. Hahahaha bad history jokes for dayzzz. And yes, I have started the addiction recovery process to my phone usage. "Hi Im Sister Parkinson and Im a phone user...."
   - Wow ok this email already started off bad. Lets see here, we also didnt eat at home like hardly at all this week so we didnt even have to do groceries. My love for McDonalds came back with a vengence and I was ashamed I ever left it. Our RC Antonio gave us 9048093284 pieces of gum for some reason so Sis Runyan and I decided to try and fit as much in our mouth as possible, I naturally won by a landslide with 26 pieces (those chipmunk cheeks though) but then I had to lay on the floor for like 3 hours because the sugar rush made me insanely sick. We brought brownie bowl back this week and I nearly died afterwords.... ?? Thats all I have honestly. Hahaha the mission life.
   - ALSO, Prez has been making a bigger deal about getting up and actually exercising, and we took it to heart and actually went out running the last couple of days. And the first day we did, we had 6 LESSONS THAT DAY (anyone serving in Utah, I know its not a big deal but for us its like the Michael Phelps just won 8 medals again or something) so basically, following the conselhos of your leaders is real and really does work. Church is true.
   - I should write about investigators I know, but thats what companions are for. Haha suffice it to say that our investigators are super cool and I really love them all!! Pray for all of them, especially Carlos, João, and Cecelia. WE GON SEE MIRACLES HERE, GENTE.

And also, pray for us!! We have permission to go to Porto for Sandra and Hélders baptism and wedding, but only with an investigator. And since I a) think this would be an amazing opportunity for a bunch of our investigators and b) REALLY REALLY REALLY want to go, all y'alls prayers would be welcome!!

AND I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! Thanks for the love and support and prayers. Missions are the best and I love being here.


xoxoxoxox bjnhs Sis P

Monday, March 7, 2016


What up friends and fammmmmmmm tudo bem tudo mundo???? I hope yall had great semanas and all that!!!

Theres actually not much to report from here in Braga town. People are crazy, its still cold and rainy, and the work goes on as usual!! Lets see what I can whip up here:

   - Probably the most important part of this letter is for all of you to know that, for the first time in my mission, I breached the unthinkable barrier and ate McDonalds for, you guessed it, 3 MEALS IN A ROW. We hit McDs on the way to a zone meeting, we obviously had to get it as a zone afterwords, and then had nothing in our apartment for dinner so we HIT UP MCDONALDS. I want with all of my heart to say NO RAGRETS but there were actually, real life regrets, and I havent eaten Mcdonalds since. I know its hard to believe. I myself have trouble accepting it, but its true. Looks like 6 months to sexy may be a go after all.... ??! Stay tuned fam. This is serious stuff.
   - Sis Runyan had to, once again, deal with my instability as I spent a good part of the week figuring out stuff for BYU. I had a real-life panic attack and have basically decided that I am never coming home. Sorry for anyone who is disappointed by this news but yep, looks like I will be a missionary forever. SORRY BOYZ
   - We finally FINALLY had a zone meeting this week and it was just as goofy as ever!! Its always great to see old friends and do ridiculous practicas and ride trains and eat Mcdonalds and all that jazz. PLUS we got our mail after like 34809 months so SHOUTOUT to Mama P, Melanie, the Haas and any and all other mail senders!! Yall are saints. Much love and bênçãos to ya.
   - So Sis Runyan and I realized that we had basically NO new investigators to teach and it is kinda frustrating DEMAIS, so we did some hardcore evaluation and realized that, oh yeah, we hadnt actually been doing all our contacts. SO we set some high contacting goals and hit the streets on what just happened to be the coldest and rainiest day of the week here. Every time it would start raining or we had some kind of setback we would just be like NOT TODAY SATAN. NOT TODAY. And in the end, we made ourselves that little goal and WHOPPED THE DEVIL.
   - Actual missionary moments: we got to do a fast with one of our investigators who was going through some legal stuff for her netinha, and it was actually super spiritual and really cool, and everything worked out the way they needed it to. Then another investigator needed some help legalizing her child, and after saying a prayer the VERY next day got the letter she needed in the mail. WOAH. MIRACLES HAPPEN FAM. And its especially cool to watch it happen for others and ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY cool when they recognize the hand of the Lord in all of it. Thats one of the most rewarding parts of missionary work, when people receive blessings and know that they are coming from the Lord. Church is true, everybody.

Now for the subject line slash a special segment called BEST OF SISTER RUNYAN. Have to give the lady a shoutout for being constantly hilarious
   1. The subject line. She made a fairly impressive paper airplane so I was like "hey man thats a pretty good airplane there" and she just immediately shouts I DONT MESS AROUND WITH PAPER AIRPLANES. Hahahahah dying.
   2. "TIME FLIES WHEN YOURE HAVING FAST". Gotta love that positivity when you are fasting twice a week
   3. A member called during one of our lessons, so obviously we didnt answer because, you know, we were teaching. So afterwords I look at the phone and Im like "oh look, Jessica called" and she goes "oh really?? What did she say?". HAHAHAHAHA SHOUTOUT. Shes the best.

Anywayyyyyyy thats all I got. Sorry if my emails are sort of the worst but just so all know, THE MISSION IS THE BEST. Braga is wonderful and the church is true. And everything is wonderful here in Portugal!!! Thanks for all the love back home, one and all!!


xoxoxoxoxo bjs Sis P

Monday, February 29, 2016

Braga Part 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT UP FAMMMMMMMM TUDO BEMS TODOS?!?!? We got transfers last Tuesday and we all, the whole district fam, are STAYING here in capital B Braga and we are FREAKING THRILLED. Seriously, Braga rocks and they do some crazy things for Easter which is this transfer and the ward is amazing and its all just one giant wonderful BÊNÇÃO.

   - First off, not only did the district fam stay but we have 2 ADDITIONAL FAMILY MEMBERS and one is half Portuguese and the other is a baby from the good old US of A. It has been really entertaining to watch the ward members faces when Elder Ward, the friendly neighborhood Portuguese American, starts speaking to them in his perfect Portuguese. Entertaining and also incredibly frustrating because theyre starting to realize just how horrible all of our American Portuguese really is. Huh, maybe this is actually backfiring....
   - We have made the recent district discovery that John the Beloved is actually incredibly beautiful. As Elder Erickson says, "why do you think he was beloved??". But really though, this is factual and we have the religious art to prove it. You can go to any, literally ANY picture or statue or SEJA QUAL FOR of John the beloved and he is always, ALWAYS, clean shaven and the best looking one there. Test me on this fam, you will not be disappointed.
   - So we are teaching these 2 ladies, Isabel and her mom, from Brazil and they are slightly crazy. Super sweet and adorable, but Isabel is basically a TJ and has the entire Bible memorized and mostly just likes to argue doctrine with us for a good couple of hours every week. So we tried a different tactic and showed the 2 of them the Joseph Smith prophet of the Restoration film, the long beautiful one that is really intense and wonderful, and afterwords we were like "so what did you think yall??" and Isabel is immediately like "HE WAS FOOLED BY THE DEVIL" and whatnot, so we turned to her mom (who is about 80, really really cute and super sweet" and we were like what about you Maria, what do you think? And she sits up and just says "I loved it and I know, without a doubt, that this Joseph Smith man really existed". HAHAHAHAH. I couldnt even hold back my laughter. First step folks, she knows that Joseph Smith really lived!! Now we just have to move into the prophet concept and we have her
   - Me trying to talk about actually missonary work moment: we found a woman a couple of weeks ago named Cecelia, shes from Brazil and we finally had the chance to teach her this week. As it turns out, she had already been taught by the sisters a couple of years ago, to the point that she nearly got baptized, but then went back to Brazil where the church wasnt there yet. BUT guess whos back, back back, back again in Braga!! She has already read the Book of Mormon, already has a strong testimony, and is excited to come back to church. WHAT THE WHAT. I literally think this may be the biggest blessing slash miracle I have seen on my mission so far. Braga is filled to the brim with amazing people with tons of potential and I am so so crazy excited to be serving here and be a part of it!!
   - Ok Im sorry I have one crazy long story after another, but this one is possibly my favorite, ever. We went to visit an old investigator of the sisters and right as we knocked on the door, she answers and goes AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Just kidding, come on in sisters!! Literally screamed right as she opened the door. THAT WAS PROBABLY A WARNING SIGN. Then she goes ahead and introduces us to her friend, a homeless man that was staying over who very aggressively tried to give me beijinhos, then invited us into her house, which was pitch black because, oh yeah, they cut the lights the other day. Hahahahaha I nearly started crying I was trying so hard not to laugh. She asked if we could pray and said she would offer, so she grabs us all into one big group hug and just starts shouting "BLESS US LORD BECAUSE WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE AND EVERYONE IS JEALOUS OF ME BUT YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE GREAT PEOPLE LORD".... and I just had no words. One of the greatest lessons that has ever happened, ever.
   - If anyone remembers the crazy investigator Antonio from Gaia, he called this week. Yep. I asked how he got the number and he was like "You dont need to know. Im an investigator and I investigated" hahahah classic. Anyway, he asked for my address, which I obviously couldnt give, but I was like "oh heres a number that will help you Antonio" and it was the number of the office elders. HAHAHA SWEET REVENGE. Hopefully they didnt actually give our address though...
   - OH MY WORD I CANT BELIEVE I DIDNT SAY THIS ONE FIRST THING. THEY. FINALLY. HAVE. MCMUFFINS. AT. MCDONALDS. McDonalds hasnt served breakfast up until THIS VERY WEEK and we went on THE VERY FIRST DAY and were the ONLY PEOPLE to get mcmuffins but it didnt matter. It was glorious. I cried real tears and Im not even ashamed to admit it.

Alright alright alright Im done I promise. Congrats if any of you made it all the way down here. If so, lots of love to one and all and have a great week, todos!!!


xoxoxoxox bjs Sis P

(Pictures pilfered from comp... sure she will love me posting this first one!)

Monday, February 22, 2016

The path to hell is paved with good intentions


We had another wild week here in Braga!! It was actually pretty ordinary so I will see what I can scrounge up to talk about for the fam:
   - First off, that glorious email title. It comes from, you guessed it, our beloved mission president!! That was actually a long time ago but its one of the wonderful things that he said to me once in an interview and I forgot how hilarious it was so here you have it, wise words from Prez. Apply it, people.
   - WAIT I ALMOST FORGOT WE ACTUALLY HAD THE COOLEST EXPERIENCE EVER THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Patrick Kearon from the presidency of the seventy came down to Portugal and we had a MASSIVE mission conference and IT WAS THE COOLEST THING IN THE WORLD. First off, getting the whole mission together is just the greatest because you know I love me my missionary friends. And second, Elder Kearon is ACTUALLY INCREDIBLE. He thanked us over and over again for our service and gave about the most uplifting and spiritual and simultaneously hilarious talk that has ever been given. It was the actual best thing in the world. I LOVE THE MISSION AND THE CHURCH AND THE PEOPLE IN IT.
   - WE GOT A MEMBER REFERENCE THIS WEEK!!! Dude those are a serious rare-find Pokémon out here so it was completely golden and wonderful!! Its a less active from the Açores that wants to come back to church and take his wife with him. Milagres on milagres on milagres. They were super sweet and, more importantly, make really good cakes. CHURCH IS TRUE FAM
   - For some reason I always forget to talk about this but our RC Antonio has 3-4 friends that we teach in a café every week and it is the actually highlight of my semana, always. This week we spent all our time trying to teach english slash drawing maps of the US slash singing Beatles songs together. Missionary work at its finest, folks.
   - For some reason President hasnt approved our transport money yet so Sis Runyan and I are completely broke so you know what that means.... NO BIG MACS. I HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN SURVIVING. I literally havent eaten a Big Mac in like a 6 days and the withdrawls are realer than real. #PRAY4SISPARKINSON2016

Oh my goodness these emails have gone downhill big time. A THOUSAND APOLOGIES but thats all Ive got for now. Transfers are this week so we will see what happens and I will try my hardest to get us into more weird situations this week!!!!


paz e bênçãos everybody

xoxoxoxoxox Sis P

OK WAIT THIS IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT YES FINALLY REAL-LIFE MISSIONARY NEWS!!!!!! There is a family that I taught the whole time I was in Porto and they are the literal best and most adorable people in the world. Sandra was a less active that stopped us on the street and shes living with Helder, her really cool boyfriend and their 2 kids. We went to their house every week for dinner and FHE and it was the GREATEST, and this week THEY CAME TO VISIT ME IN BRAGA!!! And even better than that, Sandra and Helder have plans to get married and then HELDER IS GETTING BAPTIZED here in March!! They come to church every week and are actually real-life active members. I ACTUALLY CRIED WHEN THEY TOLD ME ALL OF THIS. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THEY ARE THE BEST AND I AM SO SO SO SO SO EXCITED. HOLY COW. Now just comes the part where I have to ask Prez permission to go.... PRAYERS FAM PRAYERS. I love this family so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Monday, February 15, 2016

Always in the Splash Zone

WHAT UP FAMMMMMM TA TUDO NA BOA?!?!?!?!?! I hope yall had some rockin semanas and tudo isso.

   - First off, the subject line. Hahahah so the rain and cold has been OUT OF CONTROL this week. Seriously though, I have never been more wet and more cold. I didnt realize I was serving in Siberia?!?!?! But anyway, you know those scenes from movies where the cute female protaganist is walking along in the rain, minding her own business and then a huge truck comes by and splashes her with dirty muddy cold rain water?? WELL THAT IS REAL, AND IT IS MY LIFE. This has seriously happen like 298375 times this week and somehow I am the only one who ever gets splashed?? Its a curse. Living life in the splash zone.
   - Lately Sister Runyan and I have been thinking up new jokes based off the line "a Portuguese, Italian, and Iranian girl walk into a bar...." because we were knocking doors one night and got let into a house with exactly that combination. You have to love living by a university and getting the craziest combos of people in the world.
   - We taught ALL THE CRAZIES THERE ARE this week. Hahaha but really thoughhhhhhh. The first was Antoneita, who doesnt like religion, just spirituality, and has taken negative words out of her vocabulary. After arguing with us for like 20 minutes I just gave up and was chatting with Sister Runyan while she read a scripture and she goes "EXCUSE ME.  I AM TRYING TO READ THE WORD OF GOD HERE". Hahaha classic. She has a point. The second was Antonino, a preacher from Brazil who has seen visions that he cant even explain to us because he is so much more spiritually advanced than we are. Right. A WEEK IN THE LIFE FAM. I wish I had 857439 hours to tell you all the ridiculous stories we hear out here. PORTUGUESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY. I love them to death and they are all completely insane :)
   - I had this super intense mental breakdown this week (not really, but you get the idea) because it was raining and my shoes broke and I was so very very very wet, and then Manuela, our crazy 90 year old friend that we bring the sacrament to, was sick and canceled on us and THEN we saw a dead dog on the road and it was just too much to handle and I completely lost it in the middle of the sidewalk. Poor Sister Runyan. But like the wonderful comp she is, she handled it by forcing me to eat a ton of chocolate. In case anyone is wondering why I am gaining weight here in Braga....
   - Speaking of which, 6 MONTHS TO SEXY IS GOING SO WELL. I just did a evaluation of our week and it looks like I had 2 françazinhas and 3, possibly 4 Big Macs. On this diet you can bet I will be comin home thin as can be!!! Watch and see fam!!!

Alright thats all I got. I know, the emails get worse and worse. I try fam, I really do. Just know that even as I freeze my little buns off and am wet as can be, I am happy as a clam eating everything in sight and teaching all the goofballs of this country. AND I LOVE YOU ALL. Thanks for the love and support from everybody!!


xoxoxoxox Sis P


aka proof that my big mac 6 months to sexy routine is workin its magic


1. I am realizing that this looks like a 7 but its supposed to be a 1. As in 1 year. Whoops

(This picture was on her current companions blog... I think the lighting is better )

and 2. We went back to Bom Jesus, the crazy beautiful cathedral, and this is accidentally literally the only picture I took. YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ME FAM