Thursday, January 30, 2014

Adventure Is Out There

What could possibly go wrong in a small sister missionary's apartment on a beautiful cold Saturday morning at 7:30am?

Oh yea.........that's right. Water pouring through the ceiling.


Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaa. And, of course, it happened to us.......only five days after moving in. Lucky us. Why, oh, why do things like this never happen to the elders!?

I was sitting on the couch, watching a Mormon message while my companion was showering, when I became aware of the sound of a steady stream of water. Except it wasn't coming from the was
coming from the bedroom.

Uh.......RED FLAG.

Yup. It's amazing how fast I can get from the couch to the bedroom after a realization like that. First thing I see walking in......WATER POURING FROM THE CLOSET DOORWAY.

Soaked floor, wet clothes, oozing walls, and a sour stench.......that was the second thing I noted.

Well this is fun.

Out came the buckets, pots, towels, and even empty trash cans, all in an attempt to save our apartment from complete flooding. Eventually, we scurried upstairs to ask our neighbor to shut off his water, thinking it was coming from him. We soon found out that the water was coming from the 4TH FLOOR!!!! Apparently a pipe had burst since no one was currently occupying the apartment, and all three complexes below were seconds away from building their own arks and piling their families and pets on board!! (Hahaha! Oh gosh......I'm such a sister missionary! Can't help myself;)

We were told the apt management knew about the problem, and we headed back to our apartment a little uncomforted. After walking in the door, I went into the kitchen only to hear another sound of streaming water.

Frantically open the pantry door....NO!!!! Yes

Water pouring out of our pantry. Soon it spread to our bedroom doorway and ceilings.....water dripping everywhere! Luckily, they managed to get the water shut off before the damage got anyworse.


Sooooooo.....we're still waiting to hear back from management on if our apt is going to get fixed, but until then, we've mopped up the mess and counted our blessings we don't live on the third floor:)

We also had our fair share of car incidents this week as well. Ahhhhhh....will I ever be free of those?? :)
One day, after walking to the library to do online proselyting, we were coming back and lo and behold, we find a set of keys lying in the middle of the sidewalk belonging to a sweet Mazda nearby.

Hmmmm......sooooo....wanna take a spin??

Hahaha! jk:) Instead, we left a note on the windshield saying we'd found his keys and left our number for him to call us (you guessed it...we wrote it on a card......classic strategy:)

About 2 hours later, we got a call and met him outside to return the keys. He was clearly SO grateful and asked, "Is there anyway I can repay you?"

Well....there is one thing.......see this name badge here?.....

Haha! No, we told him we didn't need repaying, but we did say we'd love to meet with him sometime and share why we believe the way we do. He politely avoided that possibility, but instead gave us each a
hug.....awwwwwwkwwwward. Wasn't really a good counter-offer, but whatevs.

Our other car adventure....which was more like a nightmare...was having our engine die....AGAIN. Oh yea, and did I mention? It just HAD to happen while I was on exchanges with one of the Sister Trainer


And, what's even worse, my companion accidentally took our phone with her when she went with the other STL downtown. Well this is a fine kettle of fish. Soooooo.....only one thing left to do: walk down to
the public service building and beg for help. Here goes nothing.

We go in and explain our predicament. Same old answer: "we don't help with any auto-mechanic work" but......instead.....they call a police officer from the back (go figure.....the police dept is connected to the public service building. Great. Weekly encounter with the police....check.) to help us find a phone to use. After a million phone calls to different ward members, we FINALLY found one to come and jump us. Took forever, but after parking her car in the middle of the street behind us (there were parked cars on either side of our head-in parked car....just our luck), soliciting the help of two men, having to find longer jumper cables from a stranger, and 30 min of waiting for the engine to charge.......we finally had a running car.

What. A. Pain.

Oh, the joys of sister missionary life.

The rest of the week went pretty well, despite the bumps in the road......(hahaha...get it??:Our online teaches are BOOMING!! We taught 6 online lessons and the numbers are growing daily!  It's incredible being able to use this new form of technology to proselyte! The work is hastening!! One of our online investigators messaged me this week and said, "I want to become a full member of your church, but I just don't know how. Can you help me?"


I'm SO stoked to teach him on FB! This is incredible!          M.I.R.A.C.L.E.S.

We've also been back to teach Dawon! He's our favorite:) instead of waiting till we called him to set up an appointment, he texted us Friday and asked if we were still able to come over on Saturday. He then told us he'd spent the day sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and cleaning his apartment for us to come over. He also added, "I'll provide snacks for us too."

GET OUT. Best investigator e.v.e.r.!

Yea, we love him! We went over Saturday night, after multiple events threatened to interfere with our appointment (I was distinctly impressed that Satan was at work, determined to do whatever he could
to thwart our intent to teach him)! Luckily, we finally arrived without harm and sat down to teach him. We taught the restoration and the spirit was so strong as we bore witness of this gospel. He had lots of questions and was very engaged throughout and committed to read, pray, and ask God if it is true. We asked him if he believed God would give him an answer to his prayer and he said he did......good things to come, then! He also agreed to come to church with us the next day and sure enough (thanks to an awesome ward missionary who picked him up) he came for all three hours, dressed in a fancy pink silk shirt and tie, and smiling broadly the whole time!!! We CANNOT wait to see his testimony continue to grow!!! He's making progress!

We also had a total of 5 investigators at church this week!!! What?!?!?! It was absolutely AMAZING!! We had Margaret, Abass, Yolanda, and then randomly, totally out of the blue, one of our former investigators showed up at church after 5 months of no contact with us! Not only that, but he's agreed to start meeting with us again!


We're super stoked.                                               #toomanyblessings                                 #unreal!   \

The Lord is preparing people to receive this gospel.....the hastening is happening now!!!

Margaret and Abass continue to make progress! They're learning fast and the light of the gospel is starting to show in their eyes! Keep praying for our other investigators.....pray they start keeping commitments and see the value of this gospel.

The downer for the week was saying goodbye to three awesome missionaries who went home this transfer:( I hate goodbyes. They're the worst. I'm gonna miss Sister McCarrey, Elder Mansfield, and Elder
Poulson! They've been awesome examples to me!! My goal is it to be that kind of missionary for others.

The fun for the week included going bowling as a zone with Elder Mansfield our zone leader. He's a pro bowler (no the real deal:) so we all got schooled. Hey, at least I broke my PR: 116.
Don't be hating.

We also discovered why our apt has been so unbelievably of our windows was broken and was popping out of the ledge whenever the wind blew outside, so yea.....we went a whole three nights with lows of -20 degrees with our window open!!


Hahaha! We solved that issue using every missionary's go-to fix-it-all problem-solver: DUCT TAPE. Camo duct tape at that.'s been a week of adventures, mishaps, and memories:) we're pressing
forward and looking upward!

I've been thinking a lot lately about missions and why I was called to serve. Why me? With so many weaknesses? Why is it that some are called to serve and others are not? What do I have to offer? As I got to thinking about what I'd tell someone considering serving a mission, I came up with a few thoughts:

EVERYONE is called to serve. It's just a matter of finding out for yourself what mission you've been called to serve. It may be a full-time mission, it may not. Whatever mission you've been called to serve, however, DO IT WELL. That's the only thing that matters. If a full-time mission is right for you, go! If not, find out what mission the Lord has in mind for you and.....again....go and do! NO ONE will ever regret serving the Lord.

No amount of preparation can completely prepare you for a mission. However, if the Lord has CALLED YOU to serve, He has PREPARED YOU to serve. Trust that all your life and spiritual experiences will prepare you for what your mission holds for you. Do your best to do everything you can to spiritually prepare, and then leave the rest to Him. Faith, trust, and a whole lot of "willing" dust, that's the key:)

If you were perfect, the Lord wouldn't ask you to serve a mission. The Lord needs imperfect people to do His great work, because those are the ones who rely on Him rather than themselves. A mission is meant to build and shape you, just as much as it's meant for those you teach. Your greatest convert on your mission, will be YOU!! Keep that it mind.

The Lord can change your heart and will, if you are willing.struggled with my call to serve a mission. It was NOT easy by any means, accepting His will for me. To be honest, I didn't want to go. I didn't want to leave the life I lived, I didn't want to give up all the comforts I knew, and I didn't want to take on a daunting task that I didn't feel capable of accomplishing. BUT.....He changed my heart. The day I said, "I'm scared. I'm afraid. I'm nervous. I'm weak. And I don't think I can do this. Please, change my heart. Give me the desire, the will, the want".......He did. It came's still coming slowly....but He's taking the wheel. If you don't want to go, if you feel like you're not good or strong enough to go.......know that He is, and He'll change your heart if you willingly put it into His hands. Accept His will, and let Him mold you to meet that will.


"No unhallowed hand can stop [it] from progressing"!!! Join the ranks! This work is on a roll, and it's not stopping! Keep up the fight, and choose the right!

Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker