Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Take It Away

Take aways from the week:

- My birthday is in two weeks

- Apple released the iPhone 6......without me

- It is SO wrong for temperatures to be in the 30's in September

- My companion told me I "laugh WAY too much in my sleep"

- Living across the street from the High School during football
season is t.o.r.t.u.r.e.  #sportsjunkie

- Now that I'm past my year mark, multiple ward members are setting me
up with post-mish "potentials".....like the eternal type....YIKES.

--- CHRISTMAS IS IN 100 DAYS!!!!!! i. can. not. wait.---

So we showed up at a member’s house this week to help her prep for a birthday party she was having for her son, and she asks us to take food to the tables. We take the pans of tamales, fajitas, and tortillas (yep…it was a Hispanic partay) down to the serving table, and then her non-member daughter in law hands us two lighters and tells us to light the under-pan oil burners to keep the food warm.

Shouldn’t be too hard, right??

That is….unless you’ve never smoked a cigarette in your life and therefore have had no need to use a lighter. THAT was awkward. #mormonstatus

After several epic fails, trying to spin, click, and spark with no success….we finally had to ask her to show us how to do it with, "well....we clearly don't smoke...."     Yeeeeeeaaaaaa

Moving on……

The only thing less sacred to a missionary than their testimony and the gospel is SLEEP. Staying up till 1 or 2am at college and then waking up at 6 to go to class was somehow WAY easier than going to bed as a missionary at 10:30pm and waking up at 6:30am. SOML.

First off, we got asked to teach D&C 4 in seminary this week (which meant getting up at 5am......not gonna lie....I don't miss those blurry-eyed and sub-degree weather days;). We had a blast with the
youth though! And then I realized that I was like 5 years older than them......#feelingancient #tbt

Then we had the first (and maybe only) mission-wide conference with Elder Hamula visiting from the 70!! We got up at4:30am and carpooled down to Wilmette (yea...my old area!!) and we showed up just as early morning seminary was getting out. AND guess who was there????


Ah!! I have missed him SO much and my heart was SO happy when I saw him for the first time since I left 5 months ago!! He came out of the classroom and both of our faces LIT UP!!! AH! He's growing so strong in the gospel and told me
, "I'm going to serve a mission!!!" There is nothing in the world that could've made me happier than to hear him say that! He's apparently studying Preach My Gospel and going out
teaching and serving with the elders in the ward! AH!! #immaproudmama

After he left for school, we all (like ALL the missionaries in the mission....all 200+ of us) filed into the chapel for our meeting. And THEN.....Sis Bishop walked in!!! Oh. my. gosh.! We went screeeeeeaming at
each other, laughing and just about crying, and hugged more times in 4 minutes than we did in the 4 months we were together! haha! Gosh, I miss that girl!!!! It was SO good being back together again!

If that reunion is anything like heaven's going to be.....I'm all in.

The conference went really well....we got called to repentance to have more faith, reach our goals, and improve ourselves....and lez just say, we're "recommitted!" I'm excited to see the change in myself and
the mission now!

After that 6 hour meeting, we then all carpooled down to another meeting in Hyde Park (yep.....south side……whaaaaat:) for investigators, less-actives, recent converts, and their missionaries. All of our peeps from Buffalo Grove cancelled on us, but we still got to attend the meeting. Before it started, though, we had half an hour to kill so we decided to go contacting near the chapel and pull people in off the streets. It seemed like a long shot, but we went for it. The first two or three people turned us down, but then we got a woman who unexpectedly and readily accepted our invitation!!! MIRACLE. The rest of the people we contacted brushed us off with, "no thanks ladies....we drink, we smoke, we fornicate, we cheat...."

*blink blink*

ok ok didn't need to know that......

So anyways......the meeting went really well and the testimonies of the converts who shared their stories were phenomenal!! (Gosh I just love being a member of this church:). We finished the day on a spiritual high and then drove home late, getting back to the apartment at 11pm......#legalrebels:) 
more lost sleep.....but so worth it!

We also went on exchanges this week and I got to be with Sis Michelson who came out with me....and gosh, I love that girl!!! Our day together was a B.L.A.S.T. and it was so good to be able learn from and relate to each other! The night of our exchange, we offered to cook dinner for a member of our ward, so I decided to make 
thai coconut chicken (a Parker family favorite.....SO bad for you but oh SO good:).

We had to run out and get cream of coconut which.....turns out.....is used as a margarita mixer SOOOOO.....we had to go to the wine ROOM (yea.....of all the grocery stores we could have picked to go to ..... we happened to end up at the one with one of the biggest wine rooms......#smooth) where......they even have "wine specialists" walking around helping customers select wines.


We tried using hair, purse straps, and hands to cover our tags while dodging around isles avoiding the wine specialists and frantically looking for the cream of coconut. Yea.....
all those rounds of lazer tag in high school....they payed off. We finally found it, and managed to slip around corners till we were out of the wine isles........

#ninjmormons    #missionpossible

That same day, we got a call from one of the office missionaries, telling us that we'd been "prayerfully selected" to be personally interviewed by Elder Hamula.


Suuuuure…..no problem. That's not nerve-wracking at all.


Sis Carroll and I spent the next two days sweating bullets, not sure what to expect, until we finally got into our interviews and realized just how special this opportunity was. It was incredible being there with such a powerful servant of God, just talking with him about our missions and getting to ask him questions about the gospel and missionary work! You could just feel the love and testimony he had for this gospel and it was contagious! I left feeling uplifted and committed to give my best to this work! It was definitely a priceless experience!

I got to ask him about the meaning of grace....a topic he'd touched on lightly the day before at mission conference. He and I talked for a while about how God is the creator of the Plan, Christ makes the Plan possible through the Atonement, and yet the Holy Ghost is the one who administers the power and effects of the Atonement in our lives. I sat there, in awe of the spirit we were both feeling, and know that the Lord was aware of me! It's truly incredible....the love He offers me!! 

I stand all amazed!!! 

Onward and upward,

Sister Anna Parker

Me and Anna, our soon-to-be baptized 8 year old:) 

getting our paint on.....literally;)

service with a smile :D

driving back from hyde park.....the only legal late-nighter on the mish;) lol

making "BOYFRIEND" cookies for service.....mmmmm.....add that to the dating application;)

reunion with Abass!!! <3 that kid!

#tbt.......sorry, i didn't post this picture back when.....we had a YW basketball tourney on a P-day..... #ballersgottaball