Friday, January 3, 2014

I Found Cloud 9

If cloud 9 was an actual place, it'd be the Illinois Chicago mission. Seriously, this week has been bomb! Probably the most spiritually charged week of my whole mission!

True, it's that time of year when you feel the most homesick seeing all the college students and extended family coming into town for the holidays, Christmas decorations going up, presents being bought, etc. but somehow it's also the best time of year, because you're MEGA involved with helping other people, you don't have time to worry about yourself!

It's also prime hunting season.....on the look out for those with enough pity for two young girls 1000 miles away from home, to let them in to share a message of Christ.   #pityvote    #heyitworks

Tracting one night, we felt impressed to visit this one street with a daily goal to find two potential investigators.  We were totally beat physically. It was cold. It was windy. It was dark. It was icy. It was


But with a lot of prayer and plastered smiles, we started knocking doors. After about 20 one-day-you'll-know-it's-true doors, we came to a house where a 40-or-so year old guy comes to the door. First thing he says,

"Ooooooooo.....two young ladies on my porch at night....I like it...."

OK, time to run. Turns out he was kidding (sorta;) and told us we wasn't religious (go figure) and instead to try "saving the Jews next door."


Unfortunately the only referral we got that night and they were obviously not interested --"happily Jewish" (they all use that phrase....kinda sketch).


Next house: we got the door slammed in our face only after being forewarned that it was going to be slammed, "I don't usually open the door to people I don't know, so I'm gonna close it now." #doubleslam

Keep pounding them doors......keep getting asked if we are "nuns or nuns in training or something......." "No......noooooope, better than that (we have iPads:)"....didn't say it, but I was tempted;)

And then, of course, the LAST door we knock on, we get a return invite with his really nice guy! #chaching

God is good to us!

We've also been putting our voices to use with CAROLING SESHS!! We've been downtown on street corners, in homes of less-actives, investigators, and members, on porches, walking down sidewalks,singing our hearts out and getting real good at making people smile:) it's SO rewarding!!


As an early christmas present, President arranged for each zone to GO TO THE TEMPLE!!! Whaaaaaaaaat! It was by far the highlight of my week....maybe even month:) Being there with all of your best friends, fellow missionaries, was SO powerful! Gosh, we are SO blessed to have a temple in our mission, and to have it so close!

best. mission. ever.

After an amazing session in the temple, we all went to the mission home for lunch, a spiritual message, and a white elephant gift exchange. Of course, by the end of the spiritual message, President had all us sisters crying:) He showed us the Mormon Message, "They Gave Up Their Christmas" ( then talked about how each of us is giving up our Christmas to labor in the figurative vineyard of The Lord. That's enough to give ya

 It was inspiring and touching, sitting in a room full of young people, many of which have never been so far from home, who are choosing to spend Christmas away from family, comfort, and much more, all to serve The Lord and His children. And then you realize you're one of them! Gah! It doesn't get better than this!!!

Up next was the white elephant gift exchange.......geez laweez. I open my gift to find a blank baptismal record with a note, "GET BACK TO WORK!" stuck to the front. Totally an elder's gift. Sure enough.

OH ELDERS........

In exchange, I gave a plaid Christmas tie that plays "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"... ......CLASSY, I know. Our lucky District Leader got it:)

Our P-Day was also an adventure. Sis Teare and I braved the transit system on our own this time, and despite having to stand on the L-Train next to a man determined to do a squat workout between stations, managed to arrive downtown safely:) Just our luck, we decided to galavant around downtown Chicago, on foot, on the coldest
day of the year thus far.


Soooooo......despite being half frozen, we managed to find a hole-in-the-wall donut shop (that came recommended to Sis Teare by our district leader, who's also obsessed with donuts:), visited the HUGE
Willis Tower Christmas Tree, walked by the Silver Bean again, and strolled (more like power walked to avoid freezing to death:) down Chicago's Magnificent Mile--the BEST shopping street e.v.e.r.!      I LOVE it!


Chicago is beautiful and always buzzing! Its one of the few big cities I actually love. I already know I'm going to miss it when I leave! Guess that means I'll have to come back:)     #itsadate

Our investigators are doing well...slowly but surely wins the race, right? Please pray that our potential new investigators continue to be interested and will start making commitments. Our list of potentials is growing fast, so we're juggling over 20 people right now!! Lots to do, lots of places to go, lots of lessons now to teach.....what could be better?? #bombblessings

Well, I love y'all! Keep them prayers coming! Even better, send a letter:)

Onward and upward!

Sister Anna Parker

The beautiful Chicago River!!!!

Sis Teare (my beautiful comp:) and I at the temple!!    Best. Place. On. Earth.

Diggin the comp's obsessed:) 

The Willis Tower MEGA Christmas Tree! Seriously, this thing is HUGE!! I reached about to the fourth ball up.....#shortystatus