Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You Don't Say....

Note to self: Don't believe anyone who says anything is "free" in Chicago. Especially when it comes to parking.....and museums.

We decided on another adventure for P-day this past week, and carpooled down with the Hermanas to visit the "free" science and industry museum together. It took us over an hour to get down there (I swear....rush hour is like a 24/7 thing in Chicago) and when we finally found the place, come to find, parking is $22 an HOUR.

Dad, forget residential real estate.....we need to buy a parking garage in Chicago.

We'll make it RAIN.
Instead, being the broke missionaries that we are, we spent the next half hour trying to find "free" parking and eventually landed ourselves a spot after awkwardly stalking people walking down the street who even looked like they might be going to their car to leave.

<<welcome to my life>>

By the time we got into the museum, it was closing in an hour and a half, and as soon as we get to the front desk, our conversation with the receptionist goes like so:

"Hey, can we get 4 free passes?"
"Sorry, what?"
"Y'know, like the free February passes?....a friend told us all museums in Chicago were free this month....."
"Yea, no. Not this one...."

[if only it was appropriate for adults to throw tantrums.....]

Instead: "Oh ok...well....sorry to bother.....thanks anyways..." (and then awkwardly walk out)

So yep. THAT was our P-day. Lesson learned: Freedom isn't free...and neither is sightseeing in Chicago.

Other than that memorable start to our week, we've been SO busy this week! It's been AMAZING!! Seriously, I'm never happier than when I'm so busy that dinner hour seems like a nuisance:)

We had a miraculous moment this week, when Sis Green and I were planning and she started trying to clean up our phone (we have SO many contacts in our phone that neither of us know and there's no record from past missionaries on who they are). She started calling everyone and ended up calling a former investigator, Armando, who said he'd met with missionaries a year back and had never really heard back from them, but was still interested. We set up an appointment and met with him on Saturday.

Gosh, is he prepared!!! We were both SO impressed by his thoughts, desires, and his active search for truth! We were about thirty minutes into the lesson, and he was going off about how the universe reflects God's hand and power, when he said, "Here's what I think....we need to ask ourselves three or four simple but important questions:

“Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Where are we going after this life?
And who created us?"

You don't say.

Yea, that's a moment when I was inwardly having a Buddy the Elf "Santa's coming!!" reaction, but outwardly we're both like, "Mmmhmmm....yea....we totally agree.....uhhuh...."

hahaha! Gosh....mission life:) We extended a baptismal invitation to him at the end of the lesson and he accepted!! He is so receptive to the truth we have to share with him, and it's incredible to see the
light of Christ within him resonate with the message that we have to share! I am just SOOOOO excited to see him start down this path to so much more light, truth, and knowledge!

Last-minute highlights of the week:

-Sister's conference!! I got to see all my comps again!! Sis Bishop, Sis Teare, and Sis Carroll...gosh we could hardly stop cracking our inside jokes again just like old times!! Gosh, have i missed them! Oh
and the messages and workshops were also FANTASTIC!! The elders should be jealous:)

- Taught mutual this week on using Preach My Gospel as member missionaries!!! I get as excited and passionate talking about that as I do about the Red Sox vs the Yankees....no shame. #mytwoaddictions #PMG #sports

- Got "cold quarantined" again this week. Gosh, Chicago. Can't a girl just preach the word for her last three weeks in the mission...?? hahaha

We're sacrificing. We're serving. And we're saving! And I wouldn't have it any other way! I'm becoming keenly aware just how short of a time I have left, and while I'm excited to see family and friends again and forge on with life, I can't help but feel like my heart is being broken.

This is the experience of a LIFETIME. It's exhausting and it's challenging, but it is priceless! I am FILLED with gratitude every night as I kneel to talk with Him--SO grateful for the chance He's given me to take His hand in this work, to walk alongside Him for 18 months of my life, to bear that burden and to feel that joy--the joy of being HIS servant!!

Onward and upward,

Sister Parker

Heading downtown.....we're suh cute....

found this epic mural on the way home..... good ol' chicago  

Aaaaaaaand.....then we passed this:) If drugs weren't illegal before...they are now;)

valentine's day flowers from my daddy!!!  #sweetheart