Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"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.

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