Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sand and Sunshine


since the roll out of online proselyting and facebook privileges for missionaries....i've started a new blog called

 (Yea, I was meant to come to this mission to get my blogger fix <3) 

check it out and lemme know what you think! With Elder Bednar's new urge to flood the world with good messages, our missionary proselyting blogs are a new way to further the work!
 So send it on, like, share, tweet, pin, post, follow...and whatever else! 

we're out to #sharegoodness:)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Upside Down

Where's my Jack Johnson jams when I need ‘em??  Seriously. This week’s been nothing but upside down.....#dayinthelife.

Saturday night.....we got "the call"......TRANSFERS........*sniff sniff*......Sis Bishop got the news that she'd be leaving to go to Indiana (booted to the boonies:) lols)  and I'd be staying and getting Sis Carroll as a new comp!! Sis B and I were kinda stunned by news even though we knew it was coming. It was REALLY tough saying goodbye. We've had SO much fun and success together, it felt like saying goodbye to my sister:(

We showed up for transfer meeting, met our new comps, and said our goodbyes, then loaded up in Sis R--'s (member who drove us to transfers) car and headed back home. We got back to the apartment, hauled all of Sis Carroll's stuff up to our 2nd story apartment, and had just finished unloading everything, when I started looking through my bag for our apartment keys......

Digging........digging.......uneasy digging.......frantic digging........panicked digging.........

Houston, we have a problem.

A BIG problem. We checked the car, the trunk, the bed of the truck....everywhere and couldn't fine our keys. I quickly called the AP's, got permission to call Sis Bishop, and the conversation went down:

"Heyya girl! It's Sis Parker!"
"Oh HEY!!!!"
"Soooooo....I have a you know where our keys are??"

"......seriously?! Oh gosh.....I don't think I have them....I can check my crap!"

Yeeeeeeeeea. Thought so.

Turns out, Sis B had put the keys in her purse instead of mine.......and had taken them all the way back to Indiana with her. Smooth. Sometimes I wonder if she's actually a Brunette:) lol!!

Soooo.....Sis R had to run off to a doctors appt so Sis Carroll and I decided to eat lunch (take-out from sis R) in the backyard, until we could find a member who could drive us back to Willmette, etc.. Sis Carroll and I ended up have a great gtky sesh and I have a feeling it's gonna be a good transfer:)


The rest of our day was kinda a blur. Sis R eventually picked us back up, we loaded all the luggage back in her truck, got dropped off at her house to cool off while she ran errands, found out that sis Bishop went back to Wilmette and dropped the keys off to James who works in Wilmette, and he ended up bringing them back to us that night, all the while we crashed the R-- family's entire day since we didn't have our apartment or car keys so we were basically helpless. #whatdwedowithoutmembers<3


welcome to BG, sis Carroll. I'm sure she was traumatized:) lol! Definitely a mission memory of a day, right there.....#firstgoodimpressions #unforgettable

Sis Carroll and I are having fun though! She’s from Utah (2nd comp in a row….I know….I’m probably setting records;) BUT she’s got a hood side to her that I’m absolutely in love with! haha! I's Utah hood...with a bit of the Chicago thrown in there......but basically, it's adorable;) Real convo from last night:

“Hey, Sis Carroll…..drop a beat!”
“Ehhhh…..idk if I can do that…well…actually a friend told me to just say ‘boots and cats’ fast… [and then she goes on to demonstrate….while I’m DYING on the floor laughing]”

Gawl……it’s gonna be a good transfer;) lol

After our rough start with having our apartment and car keys taken to Indiana (oh, and our phone died too…..#luckyas13), our week starting f.i.l.l.i.n.g. up with some of the most spiritual and incredible experiences I’ve had! Last week, the stake president had us over for dinner and their family invited a friend (who’s their daughter’s age). She came over, and we got to talking and turns out……we’re both equine junkies. 

Get out.

So we go off (like barn brats do) talking saddles, breeds, hunter jumper techniques, trainers and training, which didn’t end till dessert was brought out. No shame. S—then invited us to come see her ride at her next riding lesson. With some encouragement from the members (yea…you’re right…it didn’t take a lot) and some promptings, we decided to go.

We showed up, at right as S—was about to begin her lesson, her mom showed up and introduced herself to us. She’s the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet, and we got to sit together and chat for a half hour while S—rode. S—‘s mom told us that she doesn’t usually come to her daughter’s riding lessons, but felt like she should come that day.  SpiiiiiiiiiiiiiiRiiiiiiiiiiiiiiT……..;)


By the end of the lesson, she’d invited us over to her house and offered to “adopt us as her two daughters since S—and her sister are leaving for college.”  Twist my arm:) we got a new momma (and a potential investigator)…it doesn’t get better than that!:)

Our next spiritual high was when we met with a less-active this week who we’ve been trying to get to come back to church. He has a lot of questions and doubts about the church, and we felt impressed to talk about God’s love for His children and about the Atonement. We kicked the lesson off, and it went  fllllllllllyyyyyyyyying … in ALL directions…, rap, dating, bishoprics, drinking, primary, aliens……..holy r.a.n.d.o.m.….it was a kinda a mess (and not a beautiful one). We kept trying to bring it back, bring it back, until we finally started getting onto the topic of the Atonement’s power to free us from any and all pain.

The spirit kept prompting me to just testify, testify, testify, and guided me to ask questions that I had never considered asking before. Suddenly, everything started changing. Our less-active, who usually can hardly sit still, make eye contact, or stay on-topic, seemed to freeze and his eyes were right on mine. He wouldn’t break contact for a second as I testified to him that I knew the Atonement could heal all his pain—regret, remorse, depression, sorrow for sin, abuse, anxiety, sadness, loneness, etc..

It was one of those world-stop lessons that all missionaries covet. And it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g.! After I’d finished, I asked him, “Do you want that? And do you have the faith in God that He can give that to you?” He responded, his voice cracking slightly, “yea…I do” and then asked if he could meet with the bishop!!!


I left that lesson realizing just how powerful the spirit can be. It can take a discussion headed for disaster and turn it into a mini sacred grove experience for a less-active wanting to find the truth. The spirit’s amazing. IDK what I would do without it! It’s EVERY missionary’s most powerful tool and I discovered the power of it that night!

Love it. Can’t get enough of it. Sharing the gospel is amazing. It’s banging. And it doesn’t take a black name tag to do it!

Onward and upward,

Sister Parker

first comp selfie <3

backyard lockout.....with Panera;) mmmmmm

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Just a fair warning to any prospective missionaries: a mission will get you WAY outside your comfort zone, making you do stuff you'd NEVER dream of doing otherwise.

 It's great. Really.

Life's always an adventure.....

Example: Sis Bishop and I felt prompted to stop by the part-member family that we'd met in the park last week while doing tye dye shirts. We knocked, and the mom answered and readily let us in. We walked through the door and weren't two feet inside, when a large rat-looking creature scurried across the floor.

We just about hit. the. ceiling.

 Like heart-leap, friend-grab, scream-supress, jump-on-chair status.           FREAKS.

The mom then says, "Oh, there's Owen! We've been missing him....." and goes over and picks up this long scrawny FERRET, "wanna hold him??"


"Uh.....bettah not........"

Instead........I had to reach out my hand and pet the thing with, "aw! how cute!".....which wasn't really a lie.....he had cute eyes......but that was about it;) She then goes to the back and brings out TWO more. By this point Sis Bishop and I are D.Y.I.N.G. And then.....she tells us that two more are wandering around the house somewhere......oh.....and that they love burrowing in the couch we're sitting on.

I just about came unscrewed. Throughout the remainder of the lesson, Sis Bishop kept eyeing the back of the couch and under her feet, expecting at any moment a "large rat" to start gnawing at us. Luckily, we didn't see any more of them during the lesson, and the lesson ended up being very open and powerful. Turns out, the mom told us that she'd unexpectedly decided to work from home that day, which she rarely does, so despite our ferret introduction, we'd landed a miracle. She said it herself;) By the end, she accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and we're planning to stop by again soon!

Wednesday, we met up with the blood drive coordinator so she could tour the church building and approve it for the blood drive coming up. She came in, gave us our marketing flyers and posters, and then we showed her around the building. We ended up having an hour long conversation in the gym about our purpose and experiences as missionaries, religion, and her life story. She opened up to us, and told us about her background and experiences with different religions, and we invited her to attend our church meetings with us. She accepted!

It's truly amazing to watch the Lord put different people in our path, who are willing to "try it out" and accept this beautiful message we have to share. It's a total testimony to me that the gospel is true, because it innately attracts those with faith enough to give it a chance. It draws people closer to God and they can feel it! Ah! It's amazing!

Our zone also had it's monthly activity this week.......EXTREME TRAMPOLINE STYLE. 

Holy fun.

 It legit.....basically a hallway of trampolines, a foam pit, and a dodge ball room....gah! 

coolest. zone. activity. EVER.  And I can now to a front flip, back flip, round off, and wall flip......#stylin:)

On FB this week......yea the adventure never ends....I got messaged by an investigator who told me he's looking for a "good Christian wife" who can clean his dishes, do his laundry, and manage his household.......and I was the perfect candidate.......mmmmmkkkkkkk.


That's called a maid................Not a wife.....................And not me. lols

#singlestatus       #noshame

Finally.....the H.I.G.H.L.I.G.H.T. of our week was GOING TO THE TEMPLE WITH BETHANY!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! It was absolutely amazing! It was the first time that I've been able to go the temple with an investigator for the first time, and I was ecstatic!!!! It was probably one of the happiest days of my life! Being there with her, dressed in white, and seeing her experience the joy and peace that is found in the House of The Lord.......AH! There is NO feeling more rewarding!!!! 

It opened my eyes to the eternal nature of this work! Success in missionary work doesn't end at doesn't even end at the temple.....The Lord just continues to bless us with more and more and we continue to have an impact on others because of our actions. What started with Bethany's own baptism, will now become the baptism and temple work of those who have passed on. She's changing lives both here and in the eternities! It's beyond rewarding to know that I got to play a part in her conversion and being there with her in the temple......that feeling is indescribable!!! I wouldn't trade that for all the world!!

This work is true. It's powerful. It's fun. It's rewarding. And it's contagious:)

So share, invite, serve, REPEAT.

Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker

Sis bishop didn't believe me when I said to use a lid on the blender.......#fail;)  #lovemycomp


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ACCA-scuse me??

Some things never the fact that I H.A.T.E. going to the dentist. It's just awkward and painful all around. Now try going to the dentist on a mission when you're in the sister missionary bubble…...arms-length from every male...... and in talkaholic mode, trying to spark gospel conversation......

It. Doesn't. Work.

So about 4 months ago I had another one of my old cavity fillings pop out (the SAME day I had the other one filled.......shoot me), and I'd put off going in to get it fixed (ain't nobody got time for that) till it started getting sensitive, so I called up one of our favorite wardies, Bro R--, who happens to be a dentist (in addition to almost as big of a tease as I am), and got an appointment.

I walk into the office on Tuesday morning, and right off the bat, the receptionist calls me Sister Parker. Ok this is weird. Turns out, Bro R--'s done a tooth or two for missionaries in the past and the nurses know the drill:)

I finally get in, get x-rays (hate those too), and then Bro R-- comes in, checks out my massive cavity (the thing was HUGE) and then pulls out the anesthetic needle (and knowing that I'm a pansy when it comes to needles) he starts waving the thing in front of me, squirting and flicking it, and getting a good laugh out of me coming apart in the chair. Sometimes being a tease comes back to bite chya:)

Half way through getting that sucker filled, Bro R-- casually mentions that my companion is waiting in the "massage chair room".....

ACCA-scuse me???

Sure nuff.....I get done with hands, needles, drills, and even freakin LASERS (yea, no joke) in my mouth, to find Sister B chilling in a massage chair waiting for my appointment to be over.....

Gawl…....... some people have it rough.....

So now I'm trying to pump Sister Bishop with candy and sweets so she can end up in Bro R--'s op chair and I can take a turn getting pampered…….#dope. I spent the rest of the day feeling like half my face was going to fall off…..and definitely discovered the far-reaching effects of ibuprofen…… wooooooo….

 That same night we headed over to a near-by park to help out with another community even that the Mundelein Police Dept. had invited us to. We show up, ready to work, and the officer in charge comes up to us and says,

“How good are you at tie dye??”

Oh, ya know…..summer camp champ, right here……

Yea not really. But despite not having a clue what we were doing, we got sent off with 5 buckets to fill with water at the local MCDONALDS downs the street. Luckily, they sent two of their officers with us so it made for the perfectly awkward procession walking down Main. YOLO.

Eventually we got the buckets filled, hauled them back to the park, poured blue and red dye in the water, and set up camp, prepared for the 100 KIDS that were expected to come…..


We spent the next two hours tying aprons on kids, bobbing for sunk t-shirts in buckets, and getting splattered with purplish water from kids who just happened to wring out their sopping wet shirts…..on my shoes…..

Yea…I’m jake with that….

When we were close to being done, a woman and her kids sat down at one of the tables and recognized my companion’s name tag. She asked, “Oh, Mormons, right? Yea, my husband’s a member of your church…but he doesn’t attend…”

Ya don’t say….

So we obviously start chatting with her, and she tells us that they’re “on-the-side Catholics,” but they welcomed us to stop by and visit their family.   Deal.   She even gave us her number and address and best time to come over. ….even better.

The Lord really does put people in our path when we’re out working and serving. It’s incredible to see how He orchestrates everything, especially when we’re not looking for it. Right time, right place=good stuff.

After the event finished, the officer came up to us, thanked us for our help, and asked, “So, you guys are like nuns in training, right??”  Ehhhhhhhh…….kinda not. We got to explain our role as sister missionaries more, and pulled the whole Mormon card…..oh wait…..we do that every time…..and then told her we’d love to share more about our religion with her.

Lez just say she’s getting a BoM dropped off at her place this week…….#stylin

We also tapped into our genius side (wasn’t sure if we had one previously haha) this this week, plotting what to get our ward mission leader and his wife who both had birthdays on the weekend. We finally came up with the idea of a a CANDY BAR POSTER and went bonkers in Wal-Mart picking out a dozen candy bars.

Yea, we should’ve gone incognito….it totally looked like one of us was going through the WORST breakup e.v.e.r and needed to chocolate spree it out……..awko taco….

Whatever. Turns out, they loved it and had never gotten one before……tragic. Aaaaaand…the elders have yet to one-up us (which they insist they will……who are we kidding;)

Now for the big dawg news……Wonder got baptized on Saturday!!! It was one of the most b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. baptismal services I’ve ever been to!!   6 of her 13 siblings got to attend and they all showed up in their lava lava’s and seeing them all back together was SO sweet!

They sang together at the service one of their traditional Samoan hymns and it BLEW ME AWAY!! They all just glowed, Wonder especially, and the Spirit was so strong!!

I was reminded again just how powerful and unique this gospel is. It brings families together like nothing else. And the blessings that the Lord has in store for us when we embrace the gospel are not bound by time or age.

Those blessings can be ours if we but reach out and accept them.

Being a missionary can be SO hard sometimes. But it’s teaching me to look for and embrace the blessing of the gospel more fully. The Lord always has more to give us, if we but ask in faith, and trust His will.

Keep on keepin on!

Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker

the finished product....


towel #7;)

luv me some free stuff....even if it means going to the dentist :P

dentist office haul

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cause it goes on, and on, and on....

I’ve had like SO many random pre-mish tunes playing through my head this past week, and somehowthey always apply back to mission life…….. #suchasister

“It’s all about the climb…..”                                                                                                check.

“Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die, ya gotta get up and try, and try, and try…..”                   check.
“This is life in color, today feels like no other…..”                                                                check.
“This is how we roll…..”                                                                                                     check.

“Cause it goes on and on and on…..”                                                                                  check.

Talk about a soundtrack to my life…….


Well let’s GDTB………………….the first half of this week wasn't my kinda party. 

Woke up sick on P-day (of all days) and staggered around all day, expecting my head to either explode or roll off at any moment.


Managed to get through the next couple of days, forcing myself to take half a day to re-coup (btw…..I never thought in MY LIFE that it’d be hard to let myself take time to rest and relax………yea, try being a missionary… just about kills ya:)

All I could think that whole day between sucking on cough drops like they were going outta stylewas……….#lebroning


(Love the guy, buuuuutttttttt……..) haha

Anyways………so after half a week of being laid up, we were back on our feet and in business by Wednesday. Our week then started to pick up and we landed some sick service projects by the weekend.

Whiiiiiiiich…leads to more BIG NEWS:  We have a baptism next  Saturday!!!!

We have an investigator (of sorts), who removed her records from the church back when she was in high school, who’s decided thatshe wants to get baptized again!!!


We’re SO excited for her and got the chance to go over to her house on Saturday to help her clean for all her family and friends coming into town for the big day. There’s gonna be a lot of them since she comes from a Polynesian family of FOURTEEN.

And I thought my fam was big………lol!

We sorted and folded laundry for approximately 6 hours, and that was probably the funnest laundry party of. my. life. …….I evenlearned how to tie a Polynesian ie (ee-eh). 


Sunday rolls around, and we got assigned to teach Gospel Principles…..again….since there’s not been a new teacher called yet.  So we browse the manual, and come to find, we’re teaching the Word of Wisdom.


Aaaannnnndddd……..being girls…..…our minds hop, skip, and jump to healthy refreshments for effect.

How cute

So despite the fact that we accepted a “special invitation for a mission-wide fast on Sunday” we assume that the general world will appreciate our refreshments during class, FORGETTING……that it was actually Fast Sunday for everyone.

Yea……………………………………….that’s just awkward.

We went as far as dishing up dip, chopping up veggies and fruit, and artistically displaying fruits and nuts on platters…….before church……in the church kitchen...before sitting down in Sacrament Meeting and hearing the bishopric member invite the congregation to share testimonies……..


Hey, at least we were fasting, right………

I now convinced that having to teach a Word of Wisdom lesson on Fast Sunday is just plain rude ……...  #mormonproblems :) lol!  

We also got a text from one of our investigators this week, asking if we wanted to accompany her to Costco to shop for “service”…..yea…that’s Buffalo Grove for ya. But hey, I’m never one to turn down a Costco trip… we loaded up and went along to do the “heavy lifting” in the store.

(Tangent…….I had a business college professor who told me that when the 2nd Coming happens, he’s not going to the temple or the stake center…..he’s going to COSTCO.  Yea, I might do the same…..e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. you could possibly want is in Costco……even free samples ………..just sayin;)

After we’d filled a shopping cart (half of which was on the shopping list, half of which was a result of Costco’s good marketing skills;), we loaded up the car and headed back. We weren’t even out of the parking lot, before our investigator asked, “So, do you have a message for me??”

Why don’t you just asked to be baptized while you’re at it??

We jumped on the opportunity, and started sharing a message with her about the Plan of Salvation. That morning in personal study, I’d received the prompting to ask her what she’d ask the Savior if she had an hour to sit down and talk with Him.

Sounded like a weird question to ask someone when it first came to mind, but He said go, so I didn’t say no:) Sure enough, it turned into an incredible conversation. She opened up to us about challenges and questions she was facing, and sure enough, the spirit took over and though I knew I wasn’t qualified or experienced enough to answer her questions and concerns, the Lord gave me the words to say!

It’s was POWERFUL!!!!

As a missionary, it can sometimes be easy to doubt yourself. But what I’m learning is that all God requires of me is to be worthy.

If I can try my best to be close to the spirit, then He takes the reins and shows me what to do and what to say.

No missionary is perfect.

No missionary will ever be perfect.

I’ll certainly never be perfect, but I’ve come to see how the Lord can perfect me, if I trust Him.

We had Sisters Conference on Thursday and the theme was, “Becoming Perfected Through Him.” It was such a b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. topic. I realized sitting there that the impossible task of being perfect is possible only through Jesus Christ, but that it is possible!

It takes effort on our part, but it also requires turning the rest over to Him, and letting Him make up the difference.

 Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker

Trinity, a wardie (and my sistah at heart:)

My mission momma, Sis Robison...... <3 her!

P-day at Auntie Anne's;) and was Sis B's first time........and that's why I don't live in Manti;)

More medical bands......i should start a collection