Tuesday, July 8, 2014

To the ER and Back.....

"Say tomorrow.....you meet a boy…… BOYFRIENDHe tell you, he loves you. You love him. He want to marry you. He has job at Google in California. He say, ‘come with me, get married.’  What do you say to this???"

Well, there’s a reason “Sorry Mister, I’m a Sister”   is printed on t-shirts.

Oh, the questions we get asked as sister missionaries!!

And yes, it was Lev that popped that question during our weekly English lesson. How is that relevant??  I don't even know. He just sat there and shook his head, wide-eyed, and flabbergasted when I told him we don’t even DATE for 18 months.

“Strange…..strange…….” was all he could say after 5 minutes of disbelief.

Don’t worry, I’ve only been proposed to ONCE on the mission….and he didn’t work at Google or live in CA, so obviously that didn’t work out;) lol!  

On Tuesday, we were able to attend the temple for our bi-annual visit, and I’m OBSESSED. It was a beautiful session, and I thoroughly needed the peace and love that can’t be felt anywhere else but the temple! It was a.m.a.z.i.n.g.! (Aaaaaaannnnddddd……Sis Woodbury took us on a tour of the sealing room…….that’s not nerve-wracking or distracting at all…..until one of the elders whispers to the group, “Next stop”:)  Then we all get the jitters.

After our temple visit, we went to pick up the car from the shop (it was getting re-fendered from our car accident last week). We showed up, grabbed our keys, and were about to head out the door, when the shop owner, Wayne, started striking up conversation with us. He’s seen “hundreds” of missionaries come through his door to have their cars fixed, and had “an arms-length stack of Book of Mormons sitting in the corner” but he’d never really been told all that much about how the gospel could bless him personally.

I was kinda shocked that he’d had so many interactions with missionaries and yet had never understood what we were about. So…..we told him;) An hour and ten minutes later, he’d committed to read the Book of Mormon, visit Mormon.org, attend a church “party,” and said that if there was more for him to gain, he’d accept it.


Honestly, spontaneous teaching opportunities are my FAV!  It also taught me that there are some who just need more…...more time, more information, more love, more interest, or more opportunity in order for them to accept the invitation to read, to pray, and to be blessed beyond what they currently have. Sometimes, the Lord is good enough to me to let me be that person for someone.

That night, I called up the elders in our ward, “Hey, ya wanna go give out free lemonade with us on Thursday??”  Not the elders’ first pick at proselyting activities, but they clambered on board, and come Thursday, you could find two sets of missionaries, standing out on a corner in downtown Libertyville giving out free lemonade………….EPIC.

Not gonna lie, some of the responses we got from people were h.i.l.a.r.i.o.u.s…….

“Want some free lemonade?”    “Only if there’s Vodka in it”

“Hey would you like some lemonade?”      “Would I like to get poisoned??”

“How does some free lemonade sound?”    “Like you’re trying to sell me something the stupid way”

“It’s hot out….want some free lemonade?”    “You Jehovah’s Witnesses…"

“Would you like some free lemonade?”    “Sorry, I’m from out of town”    Aaaaaaaaaaaand?

Never thought it’d be so hard to give out free lemonade:) Well, by the end of the day, we’d found three people to visit……so it was successful;) One of the men who gave us his info, wasn’t actually a passer-by. He was working across the street painting a building, and we decided to go over and offer him lemonade. When we came up to him, and offered him the glass with, “Looks like you’re working hard out here! Would you like something to drink?” he was a bit speechless, but immediately started thanking us, and asked us why we’d help a stranger like that?

Glad you asked……..

So we ended up telling him about our role as missionaries, gave him a Book of Mormon, and he, in turn, told us he’s been “looking for God” since he’s going through a tough divorce and has two daughters relying on him. It’s incredible to see the way in which the Lord puts people in our path who need the gospel, SO desperately!

It’s was well-worth it standing out on that corner for three hours, getting weird looks from strangers, even weirder looks from the cops that drove by, and even getting made fun of by “strict atheists.”

We found the 1 outta the 99;)

And now for the re-cap on my first (and last:/) 4th of July on the mish. One word: UNFORGETTABLE.

That morning, I wake up, roll over, turn off the alarm, crawl into a ball for prayer, get dressed in workout clothes, and start tearing it up in the living room doing sit-ups, push-ups, and Russian twists. Then I stand up and…..oap….no new news…..I PASS OUT.

My companion eventually comes out of the bedroom, freaks out, and CALLS  9-1-1.  I’m starting to come around as she’s talking on the phone, and I soon realize she’s not talking to a mutual friend.she’s talking to a 911 operator.  

Joy.  10 minutes later, we can hear loud footsteps outside, and “Hey! The apartment’s over here!” before hearing pounding on the front door.

I’m still lying on the floor, shaking and kinda confused, while six  guys come rushing in, and started asking me all sorts of questions (including “were you out drinking last night?”  ummmmm……NO), taking vitals, asking my companion question after question (she actually remembered my entire birthdate…….SO proud;), and telling me I need to go to the ER.

Sooooo….off we go. Once in the ambulance, they get an IV in me( and a whole lotta blood on me in the process:), hook me up to monitors, and strike up conversation with “Yea, I have to work all day on the 4th……and usually we don’t get calls this early.”

Sorry, champ.

Rolling me into the ER, one of the EMT’s said, “Hey, I heard her (pointing to my companion) call you ‘Sister Parker.’ Can I call you that??”

Don’t mind if you do…….I  get that a lot:) So for the rest of their time with me, the EMT’s kept calling me Sister Parker which totally confused the ER nurses but…..oh well! Pg. 9…..White Handbook:)  lol

 Once in the ER, I get asked three times again if I’d been out drinking the night beforeFor reals??  I guess a girl can’t be in the ER with her hair still curled at 7am in the morning, without being guilty of gracing the town the night before.


So they run all the tests they’ve run in the past…AGAIN. More blood tests, more x-rays, more EKG’s, more…more...more.

Meanwhile, the nurse who was taking care of me started asking me, why I was from out of state. Good story, actually:) So I start into the missionary shpeal. We talk about the Book of Mormon, believing in God as our creator, and how we can come closer to God by reading His word and praying to Him. She took a card, and agreed to order a Book of Mormon online by saying, “I’m always looking for more spirituality in my life.”

 Ya got it.

2 hours later, the doctor comes in and tells me (AGAIN) that everything’s “normal” and I can go home.

Gees….I’m so glad I came to the ER this morning:)…….I’m NORMAL!


Sure didn’t feel normal, but what can ya do?? AND because we’re car-less (Sis Bishop rode in the front of the ambulance to the ER), the Zone Leaders had to come pick us up. I felt  S.O.  B.A.D.!  

By the time we got home, I crashed on the couch, totally exhausted and miserable, BUT I thought a lot about that nurse who I got to talk to.Maybe the Lord needed her to hear that message that morning. IDK all the reasons for why stuff like this happens, but I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason (especially in the life of a missionary:) so maybe that morning wasn’t all a waste…….

I feel like I’ve been getting worse since then, so please pray all will work out well in the end……I’m exploring options right now, and I’m not sure what to do. BLAH.

Anyways, that night, we got to go proselyting in a park near our apartment with our ward mission leader. It was a GREAT finding opportunity….they’re all stuck there…..can’t run, can’t hide;) By the end of the night, we’d gotten one potential new investigator and a service project hook-up.


Then, our ward mission leader, walked us back to our car, but not before stopping by a group of policemen, and saying, “Here’s Libertyville’s finest, and lucky for you, here’s God’s finest to chat with you!”

I guess that’s our cue…..

The policemen were a bit confused, but we struck off a good convo with them and they each took a Mormon.org card (and I was just glad that the cop who showed up that morning to our 911 call wasn’t one of them;) haha! That  would’ve been awkward….”Heeey….long time. no see!:)”

Though, just before we were about to walk away, one of the cops cocked his head at us with, “Oh wait, I know you guys…you were the ones giving out free lemonade yesterday, huh?”

Uhhhhh…..yep.  Dat’s us…….Guilty as charged.

He couldn’t gather why anyone would do that, so he just laughed, and waved us off. Hey….at least now we know we’re getting an image in public, cops and all;)

We got home that night, did planning, and then…….come to find……we have one of the best views of Libertyville’s firework show….from our front porch. So we stepped out for a few minutes, to watch the show……and it was the perfect finale to our day (PLUS, it was my ten month mark day, so I’m sure that’s why the fireworks were extra spectacular:)....Aaaaannndddd....my boss of a comp, made me SMOOTHIES....Ah! My FAV;) 

The only bummer (second to our ER trip) for week, was a text convo we ended up having with one of our investigators. Saturday night, he called us, and started reading some anti-mormon literature to me over the phone. My heart SANK. It legitimately breaks my heart when people are led to believe lies about God’s church and the truth that is available to them. He agreed to meet with us the following day at church and to bring his materials with him to “show us we were wrong.”

Instead, he texted us again that night, and began RAILING on Joseph Smith and our beliefs. Everything from swearing to cutting remarks to anger he dished out on us over text. He told us we’d been taught lies our whole lives, that Joseph was an imposter, and he blatantly refused to read any of the Book of Mormon.

It was in that moment, that I discovered the depth of my testimony. Even amidst all his anger, and accusations, and attacks…I was FILLEDwith a peace and assurance that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God.  His words were hard to take, but it made NO difference to me and my testimony. I came away from that conversation realizing just how firmly I know this gospel to be true.

Elder Holland’s words just kept sounding in my ear,

“Tell me whether in this hour of death these two men  (Joseph and Hyrum Smith) would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that!   They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

“For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.”

The gospel is true. Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon stands as evidence of that. And God Himself leads this church today. Some may try to deny it, to fight against it, or to attack those who believe it, but no accusation of man can change truth from God.

And despite what anyone may say, I KNOW IT IS TRUE!!!  Like Joseph, I know that God knows I know it’s true.

“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done!”

Onward and upward!

Sister Anna Parker

My comp made me smoothies...mmmmm...my FAV;)   #luvher

#itsamerica    #redwhiteandblue

Best. Comp. EVER. She's a gem:)

Round 3......and I still hate IV's:)