Wednesday, December 4, 2013

You Know You're A Sister Missionary When...

Ok, so you already know where this post is going. Yep, it's happened. I've become an official typical sister missionary in less than 3 months. 


How did that happen?? Still trying to figure that one out, but in the mean time, here's the evidence...

You know you're a sister missionary when:

Your vocabulary becomes overrun with all sorts of abbreviations: PNI's, WOW, ZL's, DL's, AP's, STL's, FI's, LARCS, etc.

You start considering your tag an accessory for any outfit ("Look! It goes with everything!")

During teaches, you love/hate and covet/curse the awkward companion eye contact "you're-turn-to-start-talking" look

You resort to brushing your teeth in the pitch dark because its 10:31 pm

At the doctor's office, when they ask for your name, you let "Sister" out as your first name

You have to stand out in the middle of a 4-way for 15 awkward seconds because your companion failed at a u-ey 

Your dinner calendar is worth more to you than your phone

You accidentally end random conversations with "Amen"

A smile from a stranger means they're interested in the gospel

In Best Buy, you go around to all the display computers and tablets and pull up and leave it there

In Office Max, on the "try-it-out" pen pads, you write, "Check out to find answers to life's most important questions!" 

In Wal Mart, you put David Archuleta and Piano Guys at the front of the CD stack

"Popcorn Popping" is your favorite rock song

Using the word "guys" is as bad a swearing

Asking a 25 year old male stranger if you can come visit him in his home isn't weird at all

Your celebrity crush is a Book of Mormon hero

Buddy the Elf button pushing is your type of apartment buzzer board style when tracting the high-rises

You can spontaneously scripture-quote-only convo with your companion 

You see dogs being walked as conversation starters 

Getting apple cider from Starbucks feels wrong

Ah, it's great.

And there are probably a million more of these to come, so stay posted:) #lifeofasismish

So the day before thanksgiving, I get a phone call from a less-active in the ward that was looking for more than help with re-activation:

                   Him: "So what's your name?"
                   Me: "I'm Sister Parker"
                   Him: "No, like your full name?"
                   Me: "Sister Parker"


                  Him: "Well I'm not married and I live alone, and I'm looking for a new roommate....."


Yea, that conversation ended pretty quick.

Luckily, he actually did  live in the elders' area so that was a quick and permanent turn over:)

Our thanksgiving day was practically a.m.a.z.i.n.g.! VIP privileges: I got to spend it with family!!!


The Mangelson's (2nd cousins!)  had us over for a wonderful thanksgiving feast, turned into dinner and a show with little 3 yr old James being the entertainment for the night:)


They're a wonderful family and kept me from feeling homesick! Definitely one of my favorite thanksgivings ever! It's amazing, when you're on a mission, feeling like you're missing out on so much you used to have, you start to realize how much you truly have--the things that really matter most.

In prep for thanksgiving, I started a "gratitude wall" in our apartment, where we've begun to put our girly sticky notes up with everything we're grateful for. We're up to over a hundred and counting!! It's humbling and satisfying seeing how much we've truly been blessed with. When we take the time to count our blessings, we start to count more on The Lord. He's given me so much...SO much! My mission experiences are just the tip of the iceberg and he continues to bless me day after day! How does that work??


The other part of our unique thanksgiving day that's worth mentioning was our online proselyting experience at......


Felt like an thankless un-American vagabond being there on a holiday.

#whatwedoforwifi     #loserstatus

A short while after we got there, a random 50 or so year-old guy comes up and tell us that he didn't have an affair with some woman, and that if she ever asked us if "that daughter of her's is mine, it's all lies!"

You have a good day, too, sir.


Then we got poems given to us by a stranger that he'd written, "...not copies, originals!!!"



And then yet another stranger starts talking to us about a lot of problems she's having (including the police being on "their" side) and asking us for employment help.


Only at Mickey D's on Thanksgiving morning.

And only as a missionary with a name tag on do you get random strangers voluntarily confiding their lives, in public, to 19 and 20 year old youth.


Another highlight of my week, was going over to a family in our ward's house for dinner, and afterwards, realizing that their two 11 and 13 year-old sons are ping pong fans.

I couldn't help myself.

5 ping pong games later......champ of 3.


Totally brought back memories of playing with the brothers in the basement for hours on end:) I miss ya, boys!!!

The ultimate highlight of my week, however, was getting 2 new investigators!!! The Lord is good to us!! We found them tracting one day, after praying that morning over a map of our area and then choosing 5 streets to go tract. Let the spirit guide, and those people can't hide.


We've been able to teach the restoration to L---, our first investigator, and she wants to learn more!

B-- is our other investigator who has a religion already, but said he'll give anything a try. Booyah! That's our cue:)

Pray they continue to read and pray, and feel that confirmation of the truth from the spirit!

One quote I've come to love this week, is by Dr. Seuss (don't hate, it's basically doctrine:).

"Be who you want, and say what you feel, 
because those who mind don't matter, 
and those who matter don't mind."

It's easy for me to look at myself either as a missionary or as a person, and pick myself apart. I frequently let myself be defined by others, and often, by the world.

It's SO easy to fall into that trap.

What I'm coming to find though, is that it's useless trying to please the masses. No matter how popular, how pretty, how talented, how unique, how hard-working, how anything we might be, there will ALWAYS be those who won't think we're good enough, that won't be impressed, or that won't accept us for who we are.

As a missionary, it's easy to think, "If I don't meet these numbers, my leaders will think we're not working hard. If I can't answer all these investigators questions, they'll think I don't know what I'm talking about. If I don't so this or that, I'm not a good missionary, etc."

"It's a trap!"

Yea, and Satan's the one behind it all. I've started to figure out how to beat him at his game, though.


Think about it. How does the LORD feel about me? What does HE see in me? How does HE love me? And how do I please HIM?

Suddenly, we're in the winners bracket.

I'm realizing that HIS is the only opinion that matters. True, it is harder than hard to not worry about what others are saying or thinking, and only focus on Him.

But it's all worth it, because you find your true worth when you let the one who made you tell you what you mean to Him.

Ask Him how He feels about you. One of my best friends out here gave me that advice, and it's changed my life.

He'll let you know. And after you know, you'll realize how far you've come and how much farther you can go with Him as your guide. Others may try to drag you down, but no one can drag you so low that the Lord can't lift you higher.

You mean everything to Him, and He'll never let you feel otherwise if you keep your sights set on Him.

His love is real, so keep it real:)

You all mean the world to me! Keep them letters coming!

Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker