Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"OUT of Training - IN to Training"

(Monday April 30 2012)

On Anzac day we had permission to go to the city and watch the Anzac parade and the service. So we watched the hour-long parade and I saw Auntie Sheri! She was under the "Airforce Dog Squad" banner right in the middle of her line. I didn't call out to her and she didn't see me but I didn't recognise her until she had passed me and then I quickly pointed her out to Sister Mohring.
We got our transfer calls this morning. Over the last week everyone is like "I wonder where you'll be going?" and it just gets annoying. Sister Mohring on Wednesday, said "I really hope you have to train next transfer". Everyone kept joking around with me about it. She told me, that President Smibert actually calls you and tells you you're training on Sunday night (normally the district leader gives you a call during Monday). Last night we didn't get a call. HAHA I'M SAFE. So this morning Elder Wright our district leader called us to organise if we were picking him and Elder Gurney up for pday and part way through the conversation we got an incoming call from an unknown number. So I answered it and President Smibert was on the line! Sister Mohring started laughing and pointed at me silently. President has a different number and his name usually shows up! He said "Sister Parsons I want to ask you a few questions. Do you know and are you following the pattern of being exactly obedient? Do you feel you are ready to train?"

So I will be training Sister Liu. She is from Beijing but has lived for a period of time in Melbourne and can apparently speak English well. She is accomplished and has a uni degree. And apparently, she has a driver's license cos Ellenbrook is a car area and I don't have my license ha-ha. So on Wednesday I go to transfers and for a special trainer's meeting and then I am placed with Sister Liu on Thursday.

I’m excited but not at the same time. I am truly understanding that if I am proud of nothing else when I come off my mission, it will be that I learnt how to do simple things like a normal adult does.
So the good thing about me staying in Ellenbrook is that I will be able to skype you! Maddy and Chris have an apple and skype is on it obviously so we'll go to their house for mother's day. I don't know times or details yet but I’ll let you know.

I finally got a flat tire after accidentally riding through sand. They call the massive thorns "double gees" but we know them as rhino thorns at home. We don't have them a lot but I remember them in the backyard at our rental house near Parklea Markets. My bike is a lot better now after we went to a less active's house and got his help. Sister Gloria Butts is a wonderful older lady who has 3 children and 1 grandchild. One of her sons is really good at fixing things so he fixed my gears and my wheel too. oh yeah, I paid $40 for 2 new tubes for my wheels, they were expensive because they were the thick kind. And I bought a small repair kit which every missionary needs.

Liam is the grandson of sister butts and he turns 12 in October - he is a great boy. I love them a lot.

We go to the mission office on Mondays to play sport, then this Wednesday and Thursday I will be there. but usually every week it's only Mondays I go. Fridays we have district meeting at our chapel but our zone leaders are kind and sometimes detour to the office and grab our stuff.

I forgot to tell you all this time, the missionaries I was in the mtc with that came to Sydney to serve their missions. They are:

T (he has a really long name but he's from Vanuatu)

Sister Vuetibau

And Elder Falevai is from Tonga and his visa just came through so a few weeks ago he arrived in Canberra! We email each other sometimes so I told him to keep an eye out for our family.

Mom, I don't know if you guys do already, but please, feed the missionaries! Just as I know you hope others take care of me, take care of someone else's sons or daughters. Feed them once a month, more if they need it and tell them that if they ever need anything or a place to stop by for a drink or a friendly smile, that they can do that at our house. It makes so much of a difference knowing that when everyone else in the world seems against you, you have a friendly face nearby you can turn to. When I come home, I know I’m going to offer help to the missionaries as much as I can.

I found some cool scriptures from Job this morning I might try and use some time:

Job 21: 3 & 5

"Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on."
"Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth."

(I don't care if you mock me, I'm speaking the truth and it is from God!)

"Hear the words I speak and be confounded!"

Sister Parsons

"The Love of Our Heavenly Father - In His Constant Care"

(Monday April 23 2012)

I got my angry birds package yesterday after church. We haven't been near the mission office in a few weeks so our zonies Elders Mata and Ramirez  brought us our mail. India mentioned she could imagine all the mischief I could have with them, I’m still trying to figure out how I can get maximum enjoyment from them without throwing them at my companion while she sleeps haha. Actually, I’d be too tired to wake up and waste my precious sleeping time.

We played supa golf last Monday and it was ok but I didn't particularly enjoy it. Although I was rather proud at the fact I was the only one on my team who didn't have to go hiking in the bush or near the billabong to get my ball. I didn't so much enjoy the golf itself but I did enjoy spending time with Elders Moore, Gurney, and Mata and Sister Fakatou.

Karen is a lot happier lately. She came to all 4 sessions of general conference last weekend AND stayed for all 3 hours of church today. We shared an article from the April 2012 ensign called "My Search for Motherhood" and asked her to read it as well as the footnoted talk Are We Not All Mothers? Which she printed off and gave me a copy. They are both really good talks.

Don’t worry about me getting my Easter package late. I’m just glad I got it. I like getting it late.
I probably didn't communicate about Elder Bennion very well. He was fine and happy he got a package. He just thought it was strange to get it off you even though he didn't even know you.

Here are a few of the talks that stood out to me from conference weekend that impressed me concerning my family far away in Sydney:

Mountains to Climb (one of my favs)

The Laborers in the Vineyard (another fav, I love Elder Holland!)

I know it looks like the entire lot of conference talks but it's not :) please, I know you don't have a lot of spare time but I know that you and dad will take a lot from these talks. So when you guys have the time, have a read of them and share what you think is appropriate with India and Gabi. Actually, you could do a talk each week as the lesson for FHE. There you go, I did my turn for family home evening for the next 10 weeks.
We got the thank you paper at the sisters specialized training to write a thank you to a woman who had been a good example to us in our lives. So I thought of you. Sure, I’m surrounded by good examples in my friends but you were a good example in bringing me up and teaching me. The others continue to expound that.

I’m glad Dad got his certificate. I know dad deserves it and dad loves giving his all in work but it is also nice to receive recognition and I know sometimes others don't always show dad that, but heavenly father sees what we do! And he's thankful!

Go ahead and laugh at the cat attack. I did. I’ve only got a few small scars but one is a little infected. It’s slowly healing and NO I will not go to the doctors to get it checked out. Prayer and ointment is all I need.

We have been putting in a lot of hard work in our area but to be honest, we don't have a lot of investigators. That means we have to put even more work in. It's not about the numbers, but we do need to make sure we are finding as we teach so we don't run out of people!

I may be a good teacher in some things but I am still an amateur when it comes to teaching the gospel and with the spirit. And i've noticed I really need to improve on being humble and thinking before I speak. Sometimes I say things which come out the wrong way :/

At the moment, I would not like to live in WA. Yes, I could fall in love with my next area but I miss Sydney. Here THERE'S TOO MUCH FLIIPIN SAND AND NOT ENOUGH WATER. Plus, because it's so flat here, the sun blinds you all the time especially when the sun is setting. I’m going to have damaged eyes more than when I came out.

The sisters in WA stay relatively close to the suburban areas. I think the furthest is like 2 or 3 hours away. Which sounds far, but when you think that in comparison, the furthest you can get sent is to Broome which is a airplane ride for your transfer, it's not that far. We have transfer calls next Monday so I wonder where I’ll go? They usually keep one sister and send the other away, usually keeping the newest sister in the area so Sister Mohring thinks I’ll stay but I reckon I’ll go because I can't drive and Ellenbrook has a car. True they could send a driving sister to be my companion but I don't think that will happen.

Thanks for not taking my money out. I might need it for an emergency like if I need my bike fixed or something.

We had Chris' baptism on Saturday morning at 10am then had Emma-lee and Teahurei's baptism at 5pm. It was a very spiritually uplifting day. I marveled when Emma-lee bore her testimony and said:
"I know god lives. I know Jesus lives. I know because I have felt it."

Emma-lee comes from a non-religious background and from a very different lifestyle. To change so much, and to be able to say that, I marvel at God's power and the Spirit.

Maddy says she emailed you the other night about them coming to Sydney. I know you guys will have fun with them, they're sense of humour is very similar. They are planning to get sealed in the Perth temple 1 year from Chris' baptism, I’ll still be on my mission so I’ll hopefully be allowed to go to their sealing!

Sister Stoker said there's a guy in her ward who got his mission call to Perth and was coming out sometime this year right? Who was it again?

Your birthday is coming up. So to celebrate your birthday, I’m allowed to call you! Not really, it's actually for mother's day but coincidentally it's close to your birthday. So I’m warning you now so you will be ready for when I call. I’ve only heard from Sister Mohring what she did with her family from Christmas so I have to check details with leaders but what Sister Mohring told me is that we are allowed to use skype if a member let's us use their computer otherwise we have to buy a phone card and use that to make our call. So I know there is a couple in our ward who has skype so I’ll ask them if I can use it. And then we have to organise the time I will call so you will actually be home and answer the phone. And we're 2 hours ahead of Sydney I’m pretty sure so we've got to make sure we don't muck it up ha-ha.

I’ll be going now. We’re over time on the computers (again) and I want to send your email before I type my president's email in case it crashes again.

Love Sister Parsons

"Out of Africa"

(Monday April 16 2012)

So Karen is a less active lady in her 30s who has some issues and really wants to come back to church but wants help. I can relate to her a lot. She lives alone, is lonely, feels unloved and is afraid because she wants a family but feels time is running out. She has a hard time staying during church as it becomes too much for her sometimes. Sister Mohring and I visit her weekly and we love talking with her. We help cheer her up. She seems to have forgotten that she is a daughter of God and that it will all be ok if we endure to the end. We got her to come to an Easter Fireside on Easter Sunday titled "Gethsemane" and the talks on the Atonement really helped her. We also got her to stay for all 4 General Conference sessions this weekend past. She said she really enjoyed it and was glad she stayed. We were so happy for her too. We know that if she had the ability to sit through 8 hours of general conference, then that is building up her strength to be able to sit through church each Sunday. We only worry as she needs fellowship from the ward and we're asking for it, but we're not sure if she will be getting it soon. Transfers happen in a few weeks and we're concerned for her when we leave.

I know it might be a bit confusing, but could you guys try downloading off youtube "The Butterfly Circus" and burning it to a dvd for me? I have been talking about it a lot lately and would love to actually have it to play for people.

So, I got attacked by a cat. A couple of Thursdays ago we were riding our bikes along the footpath when a cat got in front of Sister Mohring's bike. You could tell it was just a bit bigger than a kitten. We got off our bikes and patted the nice kitty. I was kind to it, and it seemed like a nice cat. I noticed we had a missed call on our phone from the Assistants. So I rang back and as Elder Abel answered the phone, I felt a sharp pain in my chest and looked down to find the kitty had sunk its claws in my chest through my shirt. It was a bit painful but also a shock. The cat had jumped off the ground onto my front. Elder Abel asked "Sister Parsons! How has your day been?" to which I replied, "I literally just got attacked by a cat". The cat started following me as I  talked and then Sister Mohring picked it up and followed me around with it as I talked on the phone. I was laughing but out of breath as I was still a little in shock. Elder Abel was in laughter on the other end of the phone. I now have a few tiny scars where the cat's claws dug into my chest. You can't see them much as they are a bit lower than is visible above the neckline on my shirts. I was wearing a high covering shirt that day so I’m at least grateful for that. If the cat hadn't been able to get gripping on my shirt, I’m sure the scars on my chest would be a lot worse.

I was warned about dogs on my mission but not about cats. I wanted to come home from my mission saying I had been attacked by a dog, not a cat! It doesn't sound as impressive. So in the last few weeks as a companionship we have been: transferred to Africa for the afternoon, attacked by a cat, attacked by a parrot and narrowly missed being attacked by a "wolf" in the "forest" as we rode our bikes in the dark.

Thanks for the Easter package. I got it last Friday. a week after Easter. I don't know what happened but I got a phone call from the office last week saying a package with my name on it and saying "please refrigerate" was still in the fridge at the office. We have large mail containers for each zone and when the zonies come to meetings they bring the mail with them, as is the logical thing, nobody checks the fridge for mail. So I got my Easter package after Easter, which was ok :)

So.... I got a call from Elder Bennion a week or two ago. He said he got a package from you, and a letter. He was very thankful for the package but slightly confused as to why you sent him a package plus the letter. I told him I had no idea you sent him something. He is good-natured and everything is fine, but it was slightly weird/funny?

Chris is really looking forward to his baptism. He loved conference. I gave them your email and your mobile number (I think I remembered it) and the home number. They are going to church up the coast but they definitely said they're coming to visit you. Maddy said she will email you. I told them that if they wanted, they could suggest meeting up the coast half way or something, as you guys like going for "adventures" in the country anyway but they said they were visiting others in Sydney anyway. Chris knows where Blacktown is because he grew up in Greystanes.

2 weeks ago we invited a long time investigator Graham to be baptised on the 19th May. He agreed to it, which is a big step for him. His partner is less active and as such, they need to get married before he can be baptised. There is a time frame for marriage and such so that is why his date is set so far away. We're working with him as much as possible but it is hard when there is a lack of effort/enthusiasm on the other end. Graham has worked with ALOT of missionaries over 4 years and none could even get him to say yes to baptism. So even if the baptism on the 19th may doesn't go through, it's still something to get him to work towards. 

So General Conference huh? Did you guys watch all the sessions? If you didn't, go and read all the talks! There were a lot of talks, which I felt, gave me answers and guidance concerning my "problems" and a lot that I felt could help you and dad, and our family and we all try to achieve the same goal for an eternal family. I don't have a lot of time and I forgot my notes, but go read them please! But watch Jeffrey R. Holland's talk. He is always more powerful in visual/audio.

Mom, thank you a lot for your help. I am so happy when I hear you make enough money at Cobbitty to help me. I know it is the Lord blessing us. One day, when I have money, I'll pay you guys back :)

I miss Sydney a lot. I can't wait to go back and hang out with my friends on adventures and going different places. And I’m excited for when I go back to Sydney and (hopefully they'll be my friends ha-ha) hang out and meet my new friends I’ve made on my mission - other missionaries from Sydney too! Elder Taumalolo and Takuira go home at the end of April to Sydney. Taumalolo (we call him lolo (sounds like “lowlow”) for short) is from a Sydney stake (I forgot) and Takuira (tukka) is from Newcastle stake they are both awesome missionaries who always make me feel happy.

That cafe you went to in the mountains sounds interesting, I’d love to go there when I get back.

We went to lazer tag last Tuesday for Sister Uhi's birthday and today we go to "mega golf" for Elder Takuira's last "fun p day". Lazer tag cost $17 and mega golf will cost $14. I used my own money, as I’m pretty sure we're not supposed to use msf for it but some missionaries do. Don’t worry, we don't spend money on activities all the time, we normally play volleyball. And I’m sure when I’m transferred to the outback, I’ll only have the kangaroos to play with.

love Sister Parsons.