Tuesday, July 1, 2014


On Tuesday we met up with Lev, Stan, and now a new friend from India to teach English. We started into traveling and vacation terms, now that summer’s in full swing. I begin listing vocab on the board….."ticket,” “itinerary,” “portal,” “TSA,” and then “flight attendant.”

They looked a bit puzzled when I put that last one up, so I began explaining…..”a person who works on an airplane, helps passengers, brings you snacks, etc…..also called a stewardess…..”

Lev then leans back with a smile, “Ooooooohhhhh……YES. I understand.”

Perfect. So I run the drill: “How would you put that word in a sentence?”

Without hesitating, he starts, “A flight attendant…is also called a stewardess, and is VERY beautiful, and young, and attractive, and usually has long beautiful hair, and brings you everything you need.” He then goes on with a wink, “Maybe you work as our flight attendant after you’re a missionary??”

Ummmmmmmmmm……..NO.      Ain’t that type...


“’Pilot’…..next word is ‘PILOT’……” hahaha! Gotta love it. There’s never a dull moment when teaching two 60-year olds English as a second language:) lol

Thursday, we went to Feed My Starving Children as a Zone and ……OH MY GOSH……funnest service project e.v.e.r.!!! We TORE up that place (between hearing Mumford and Sons sing “I will wait, I will wait for you!” over the boombox speakers with an accompanying elder of the group shouting,


Couldn’t. Stop. Laughing!   lol!   Girls….he’s got a point:) Anyways……by the end, we’d packed over 40 boxes of meals at ONE station, and in total packaged enough meals to feed over 115 kids for a YEAR!!!   Woop woop!!!   

#TeamBuffaloGroveZone      #repthehood     #ldsswag

Wednesday, we showed up to district meeting, and after we were finished, headed to the baptism closet to find a jumpsuit for Bethany’s baptism (!!!!!). We opened the closed only to find that the O.N.L.Y. sizes available were XX-XXXX Large (yea, didn’t even know they made suits that big….things you learn as a missionary;) or a Youth Medium.

That’s not gonna cut it for a slim 5 foot 8 young woman wanting to get baptized.

So we keep scouring the closet, digging through pile after pile of white clothing and eventually recruiting the help of the elders. EHHHH….not the smartest move.

Convo that followed:

Elder P--, pulling out a white XXX jump suit: “WAY too big. It looks like something you’d wear to clean a porter potty.”

Elder G--, lifting up a white dress, trying to figure out the wide collar:  “Oh! It’s a scarfOh, she’ll love that!”

Elder P--, finding another dress with an oversized scoop drape collar, and mistaking it for a hood:
“Whoa….that’s like KKK status.”

Me, holding up a thin, lacey, and slightly yellowed dress: “That looks like something your grandma would die in.”

Sister Bishop, finding a Youth Large, and holding it up to herself: “It could just ride right below her knee. That’s not too weird, right?”


After 30 minutes of no luck, we finally decided to take what we had (Shrek-sized jumpsuits, and century-old nightgowns) to give Bethany “options” (riiiiiiiight). Our wardrobe unveiling that night at her house was C.L.A.S.S.Y. ……like red carpet status.

Luckily, we have b.o.m.b. Zone Leaders who were champs and found us an adult small jumpsuit at their chapel in Gurnee, and it fit PERFECTLY.

Saved by grace, after all we could do;) lol

Annnnnnddddd…..speaking of BAPTISMS……BETHANY  IS OFFICALLY  A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!     AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

It was one of the most beautiful and happy days of my mission!!! I’ve loved every minute I’ve had to spend teaching Bethany (though we really didn’t teach her much…she kinda knew it all already since she’s been studying up on it for over a year)!!! I’ve grown SO close to that girl, I love her! I’ve made a new bestie, and it’s i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. knowing that I got to play a small part in her conversion!!!

[OK…if you just skipped over that last paragraph…..start reading HERE:]


Story time:

So 2 days before I opened my mission call (yea, as it was sitting on the kitchen counter…..longest. two. days. of. MY. L.I.F.E.), I was praying late one night……stressing over the mission, wondering what my companions would be like, how many people I'd be able to teach, what my mission president would be like, if I'd love my areas, see people get baptized, have fun, be free of hardships.....ya know, the uge that pre-mi’s worry about....and then....

I had to STOP.

I paused and realized how selfish I was being. My prayers were all about ME......MY wants, MY desires, MY life, MY fears, ME...ME...ME. In that moment when I stopped, took a step back, and re-evaluated what I was saying, the spirit spoke clearly to my mind,

"Anna......someone TONIGHT  is praying that YOU will bring them the gospel!"

I bawled. Straight up, knelt there and cried for over a half hour. I was completely struck by the power of those words, and their accompanying meaning. 

This mission isn't about ME. None of it. I realized in that moment that I wasn't going out here for ME. I wasn't sacrificing for ME, leaving home for ME, or giving up all I loved for ME. It was for that person...that ONE that needed ME

Well guess what???

I FOUND HER!!!!!!!!!!!!

One year ago, Bethany was praying for sister missionaries to come. She knew that she wanted the gospel in her life, and even wanted to meet with the missionaries, but she wanted--needed--SISTERS. 

One year ago, I was praying for me.......but was told......ANOTHER was praying for me....to come. 

All along our way, teaching Bethany, I wondered if she was the one that had been praying for me to come. I wasn't sure, though it seemed possible. In fact, I didn't know for sure until, standing at the top of those font steps, I watched as Bethany came up out of that water, smiling and literally glowing! It hit me so hard,


 There is NOTHING like that feeling in the ENTIRE world!!!!! To know that you—through God’s help—did it! You found the one who needed you, who prayed for you to come!!! I couldn’t contain my happiness!!!! I’ve never felt happier in MY LIFE!!!!  

That night, we went over to Bethany’s to visit her and to practice for a choir number we and the young women were invited to sing in Sacrament Meeting the following day. The three of us sat there together, basking in the joy and happiness of the day as we began singing “Come Unto Christ.”

[BTW, if you don’t know this song…..go listen to it HERE….it’s b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.]

We sat around that table, as rain came down softly outside and sang, “Come unto Christ, come unto Him. And by His grace be made, holy again. He’s calling your name. He’s waiting for you, with arms open wide. Come unto Christ!”

I wouldn’t have traded that moment--singing those words and looking into Bethany’s eyes--for the WORLD!!! I’ve never felt the spirit stronger! I broke down when we were finished with the song and told Bethany about my experience praying before the mission. All I could say to her at the end was,

“YOU make it ALL WORTH IT!!!!”

The heartache, the homesickness, the fatigue, the failure, the rejection, the sacrifice, the bitterness, the pain, the loneliness, the hardship……it is ALL WORTH IT!!!

Missions are worth it. They’re hard, but they. are. worth. it!!!! There are “one’s” that are out there waiting for you to reach out to them, to find them, to help them, and to bless their lives eternally. Whether you’re a full-time missionary or a member missionary…..they are out there! They’re waiting for YOU!!!

And you’re perhaps the ONLY one who can find and help them! Don’t wait! They need you NOW!!!!


Onward and Upward,

Sister Anna Parker

towel #6!!!


couldn't be happier!!!