Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Love me a BIRTHDAY


It's been a week. The big 2-1 crept up on me.......and apparently now I have to officially act like an adult. crap. No promises there. I was reminded by multiple wardies, though, that I can now be legally arrested and imprisoned.........


FYI, birthdays on the mish are TOTALLY bizarre. Especially if you're turning 21. Every other normal 21 year-old in the world on their birthday, is out drinking, hanging with friends, partying hard, and playing it loose.......

And then there's me……

dang straight and stone sober
waiting for birthday packages in the mail
awake at 6 am
taping up hand-drawn paper balloons to the wall
and wondering what to make myself for breakfast in bed

…..living the dream……

In all honesty, though, my birthday celebration lasted a whole week thanks to my champ wardies. On wednesday night, we had our weekly missionary correlation meeting, and after we'd finished, I was asked to go to the garage with one of the ward missionary's wife to see about a future service project. Then randomly, we wrap up the toolbox tour and I'm taken back inside to find a


Yea. talk about speechless. I haven't had a surprise birthday party since i was 16 and thought I was going over to babysit the neighbor kids.

I felt SO loved and remembered.......two things that are sometimes hard to come by on the mish! They even brought me gifts and the cake was to. die. for. By the end of the evening, I suggested we get a photo, so I set my ipad to video (since there's no timer option.....Apple, take a hint) and after a few awkward poses and "1-2-3-cheese", someone (who will go unnamed) had the brilliant idea of

…..smashing my face in the cake…..

Yes, it's on film.......No, you can't watch it now. I'm saving it for the awkward RM slideshow:) March 2015.....be there.....it's goin down.

Lez just say it's pretty epic tho. lol pretty sure they picked THE most greasy thick frosting to smother me with, btw. It took like 3 lather-rinse-repeats of Pantene and a whole lotta Bare Minerals face wash to get that stuff off.


Hahaha! still love the wardies<3

On my actually birthday, three days later, I woke up SICK....yes.....AGAIN. And on the b-day of all days. So basically my birthday morning went something like this:

Wake up after a miserable night of heat packs on my head and Nyquil that DIDN’T work

Clamber out of bed…...barely able to breath and sounding like a heaving rhino

Find my birthday package in the living room

Manage not to kill myself slicing the packaging with a pair of scissors….

dig dig dig: …chocolate…..shirts…..flashdrive….goodies…..letters……


Never been more happy to see Klenex in. my. life.

 I got one inspired momma;)

We then rushed out the door to go to a service project called Be the Match (helping people register to be bone marrow donors). We got there, set up camp (all the while I'm downing airborne and ricola drops like nobody's business), and then work the table till noon when the fire and police department showed up to barbecue lunch for the donors.

Needless to say, the elders were the first to drop shift and get food. They came back with pulled pork, ribs, and brisket (yea like wow), sat down, started eating, and then the elder next to me pauses and says, "Sis Parker...try this sauce [pointing to the bbq sauce]."

I leaned over, sampled the stuff and just about d.i.e.d......hecka NASTY.

He smiled a bit then asked, "know what that taste is??"

uuuuuuummmmm......don't tell me it’s......dude are you serious?? Yep.


....straight up whisky...

I didn't believe him at first, but after trying it again, i was ready to puke. Gosh, there's times I'm SO glad I'm mormon. Who on earth would voluntarily choose to drink that stuff?? ugh. come to find, the cops had put the sauce on AFTER cooking the meat, so none of the alcohol had been cooked off. Basically......it was more than just "flavored" with the stuff.

and THAT'S the closest i got to drinking on my 21st.


For the rest of the day, we helped donors fill out forms (which required reviewing medical histories.....yea.....it's all fine till the elders get assigned to work with a woman on birth control......and they don't know what to do or say.....yea awko taco) AND we also got an earful from one of the organization directors that she thought it should be required by law for "all juvies and inmates to become bone marrow donors"..................uuuuuuuhhhhhkkkkkkkkkk.

THAT would put a spin on Orange is the New Black..........


Ok so anyways....we eventually finished off the birthday with dinner at Portillo's with one of my fav member families......AND.....half the women in the ward were there for pre-women's conference dinner so it turned into party #2 for the week. AND because I was sick...the same member went out and bought me a birthday package of cough drops, chicken noodle soup, and herbal tea.

#bigelowblessing   #cantbebeat   #bestwardieaward

Yea....I was like a 2 year old with Christmas candy....but instead.... a 21 year old with Hals.......no shame.

The women's conference that night, though, was an absolutely perfect finale to the birthday!! Ah! I can't get over Pres Uchtdorf. Every time......he nails it.

Future hubby......I expect you to be all that when you're 75.

Just before heading off to women's conference, though, we were invited by a ward member to drop by the home of one of her friends who she'd met at the grocery store (member missionary much??:). We went in to find a frail 67 year old French woman who's eyes were red and filled with tears. Turns out, her son--who she's given all her money, time, and attention to--has decided to cut off all communication with her (for whatever reason).

She was absolute HEARTBROKEN and told us she didn't know if life was even worth living now.
The member turned to us and asked us to share a message. THAT’S when all your preparation, study, learning, understanding, practice, testimony and reliance on the spirit HAS to come into play.

And it did!

I opened the scriptures and read to her Alma 26:37 and then boldly testified to her that God was aware of her, that He would never leave her side during her difficulties, and that He was ready and anxious to hear her prayers. The spirit was strong and tears streamed down Fransoise's face.

When we eventually turned to go, I took the opporunity to wrap my arms around her small frame and told her, "We love you, Fransoise!! And God loves you too!" She struggled for words, but wiping her eyes, eventually whispered back, 

"Thank you! Thank you for loving me!"

Fransoise wasn't able to attend the women's conference with us, but sitting there hearing President Uchtdorf's address, I was reminded again just how much God loves each and every one of his daughters! His message was a powerful reminder to me that I'm not alone. That I'm not perfect, but that God still loves me. I have purpose, value, and potential.

And that while I may not understand everything, I can understand that He loves and cherishes me no.matter.what.

Sometimes, as a missionary you find yourself being taught by yourself as you're teaching you’re investigators. I felt that as we listened, love, and testified to Fransoise of God's love for her. I was filled with love for her--almost a complete stranger--and in that gift of that love, I re-discovered the Lord's love for ME.

His love is real. It's unconditional. And it's empowering!

Go out and love someone.  In doing so....you'll find how much God loves YOU.

Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker

more from our comp photo shoot.....


and after........

saying goodbye to our district leader, elder pavlovsky, who just got his visa! You'll be missed brother!!

best we could do at a district selfie;)