Monday, March 18, 2013

Mariam's Baptism

How many Konomanyis can fit on Sister Parsons?  Josh, Satu, Rachel and Rama

Sister Donaldson, Elder Segi, Elder Walters and Sister Parsons
WE HAD A BAPTISM! First one in this area for over 2 years! First one for me in 10 months! Yes! Broke the drought! Mariam is the African girl we have been teaching with her mum Sarah. Sarah was supposed to be baptised on Saturday too but at the last minute she said no. Ahe's still confused about a few things. After her daughter was baptised though, she said "I understand now, I want to be baptised". Yay! So we are going to keep teaching her and baptise her soon.
Sister Donaldson, Mariam and Sister Parsons at Mariam's Baptism 16 March 2013
Had exchanges this past week, went with Sister Simon but stayed in my area. We had a great 2 days filled with ups and downs. Sister Simon and I are very alike and it was great to experience a different companion. We set 2 baptismal dates our first night together with Annie and Hannah the sisters we had previously been teaching but dropped. They contacted us and so we went and visited them and committed them both to baptism for the 23rd March. We also had Elizabeth getting ready for baptism on the 23rd March. All 3 girls had to come to church yesterday or they couldn't be baptised. They needed to show their commitment to attend Church. So what happened?
None of them came to Church. So the 3 baptisms planned for this coming saturday aren't happening. Sarah wasn't baptised on saturday with her daughter Mariam. Argh! So 4 out of 5 baptisms aren't happening in March. But I'm still so glad Mariam was baptised. She is such a special girl. She is so smart - she was teaching us about Joseph Smith having to go to the Hill Cumorah for 4 years to be taught by the angel Moroni before he could get the gold plates! WHAT NON-MEMBER 12 YEAR OLD KNOWS STUFF LIKE THAT? The Konomanyis sang and participated in the program for Mariam's baptism too. I was so proud of them!
We had a youth fireside last night and it was themed "Called to Serve". Elders Mata, Ford, Joseph and Pula along with Sisters Terry, Bailey, Donaldson and myself sang "Sisters in Zion/Army of Helaman" medley and it was amazing! I loved it. I wish I could have recorded it. Especially when the Elders sang in their parts and then when we all came together in parts at the end.
Sister Simon, Rachel, Rama and Sister Parsons 13 March 2013
I'm giving a talk in sacrament next Sunday. yessssss. I love giving talks. I'm giving a talk on the Atonement.
Sisters Exchange!  Sisters Simon, Allalelua, Peivi, Donaldson and Parsons

Sunday, March 17, 2013

5 March 2013

This week has been busy and trying. I got sick and was so sick on Saturday that I had to stay home, only problem was we had 5 appointments that day! So I stayed at our WML's house and his wife Kin and his mum Angie were there all day and Sister Donaldson went out with Sister Allaelua (from Sydney). Sister Allaelua is in a 3 way so it was convenient. I felt really left out but I think it was because  was sick and tired so I got more easily upset.
My district leader is an elder called Elder Segi (Sang-ee). He is from Samoa. We served in Rockingham district together. He is awesome. On Sunday he pulled me aside and checked to see that I was ok and told me he wanted to really try hard to be a good leader and to help me. He said he even talked frequently with President and Sister Lindsay on the phone to get advice.

This coming week we have Sister's specialised training on Friday and Sister Lindsay has asked me to sing a hymn. On march 17th we have a missionary run youth fireside and Sister Donaldson and I are going to be part of a musical item and to help run some workshops.

Sister Parsons and Sister Myers at the Sisters Specialised Training.  Sister Myers was a previous companion of Sister Parsons.

25 February 2013

Sister Donaldson with Karen Parish

So this week was good. Got my new companion Sister Donaldson on
Wednesday, then went straight to an appointment with Elizabeth at 2pm
and came out with a baptismal date! Elizabeth agreed to work towards
baptism on the 23rd of March. she came to Church yesterday too!

So now we have a date with Sarah, Miriam and Elizabeth.

Another investigator called Lee came to church too! He's slowly
getting there with learning about the gospel and I'm still trying to
figure out exactly why he listens to us. I've asked him what made him
talk to the missionaries etc and he often gives "I don't know" kind of
answers. But he is progressing slowly.

Brother Voncent was released as our WML on Sunday and Brother Pappas
was called straightaway as our new WML. I'm sad that Brother Vincent
has been released but super excited at the same time as Brother Pappas
is amazing! He is so full of fun., enthusiasm and love that I know
it's going to be great to serve with him.

We had Rachel and Rama Konomanyis' baptisms yesterday afternoon. It
was so beautiful. I love that family so much. On Saturday night we
went to their house to see how everyone was going ready for the next
day and while there, Sister Konomanyi told us about her strong
testimony and her strong love for her children. She told us about the
unbelievably hard trials she endure in Africa with the wars and
continues to experience here in Australia. I cried. That family will
always be in my heart.

We had a cool experience on Saturday/Sunday. Karen Parish was awesome
(as always) and drove us around pretty much the whole day. We were
driving along, Sister Donaldson said hi to an African lady out the
window then told us to stop because she had to talk to her. She
contacted her and got all her details. She doesn't live in our area so
we passed her on as a referral. The Sisters called us Sunday afternoon
to tell us they had just contacted and taught her and she had said yes
to baptism!

Sister Donaldson is very positive and happy and always talks with
everyone. I feel like a new missionary again! We acted pretty much
like we had been doubled in to our area and she has a great passion
for re-activating less-actives so that is what we are focusing on.

18 February 2013 - The Gift of Faith

Just got transfer calls. I'm staying in Alexander Heights and my new companion will be Sister Donaldson. She is from Victoria. Sister Fowler is leaving to Thornlie in Southern River zone and she will be going with Sister Myers. Elder Patuaka is going to Waneroo, Elder Tracy will stay in Ellenbrook with Elder Peiffer, Elder Walters is staying with Elder Segi our new DL (this means war!!!! ahahahaha!) in Girawheen and Elder Jenkins is leaving and Elder Robinson is coming to be our zone leader with Elder Dalton. Elder Sovral is going to Kalgoorlie. haha. We were all joking he would go there and now he is.

This last week has been different but good. We got a referral to go see who wanted to meet missionaries, got to his door and he said he only gave his address to the missionaries so he could have us come to him so he could tell us we were demons and going to the pit of hell with mormon who is a demon aswell, where we belong. then we contacted another man on his front lawn who called us anti-christs AHAHAHAHAHAHA. I've been called many things in my life but this was the first time for anti-christ and demon. People make me laugh.
I also had a life changing experience on Friday with someone who I  hadn't seen in 3 months and he said I seemed different. I told him of my experience with Elder Pearson's visit and how I have prayed for over a year on my mission for help from Heavenly Father to gain that desire and to not feel despair constantly or regret or that I'm not good enough. I have studied so much, cried and fasted and prayed more than I ever have in my life and still recieved nothing but a little over a year later I think Heavenly Father has given me the gift of faith. I then told my friend how now I just wished I hadn't wasted a year of my mission to find this out. He then told me the story of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Joseph Smith stood in a meeting and publicly humiliated and berated Brigham Young for something he hadn't even done. Brigham could have turned around and bit back but he took it all then said: "Joseph, what would you have me do?" Joseph burst into tears and came and hugged Brigham Young and simply said "you passed". My friend asked me if I thought I had passed?  Of course I thought I could have done better in the year but he said he thought it sounded like I had passed. Heavenly Father wanted to test me with all these feelings and challenges all on top of one another to see if I would still do his work even if I felt alone.
It has taken 22 years, 3 months and 1 day, but I finally have the gift of faith. I know it in my heart. "I cannot deny it", as Joseph Smith said. I have felt God's love and there's no looking back.

I know some would say "you had faith before" etc but really I didn't. It was only a desire. A particle of faith. Now it is real.
We also set 2 baptismal dates this week with our African investigators Sarah and her daughter Miriam. We are preparing them for the 16th of March.

I found out a few weeks ago I am serving with another relative! Sister (Adele) Bailey is related to Uncle Tony. I think he is her uncle too.
“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”
- C.S. Lewis

11 February 2013 - Blueblood

This last week we gained 2 new investigators. One is Fabiola, the partner of Ibby (Winston's friend). We have a family home evening planned with them tomorrow night. The other is an old lady we met in the park. She was sitting on the ground and she told us she was resting because she was tired. She was recieving dialysis because of kidney problems. She then proceeded to lift her shirt and show us on her chest where she was hooked up to the machine. Yup, got flashed again. This time by an old lady.
Sister Parsons and the twins Rachael and Rama

I had my second exchange on my mission on Thursday and Friday. Sister Chou Lee came to Alexander Heights to be with me while Sister Fowler went with Sister Bailey in Maylands. Our proselyting time was limited as Sister Chou Lee had a dental appointment on Thursday and Friday but we still managed. Sister Chou Lee is from Liverpool Stake in Sydney. So we took an I SYDNEY photo for the Church board haha.
Sister Parsons and Sister Chou Lee

Sister Fowler sliced the back of her ankle on the screen door on Tuesday so that was a challenge that we laughed at. Then on Thursday, I cut the back of my ankle on the screen door too! Mine isn't as bad as Sister Fowler's but it was funny.

Just now as I type my email, a young guy named Lee came up to us. We have met him at his house a few times but he has never really wanted to learn so we told him to let us know when he was interested. He saw us in the library and said hi quickly then went looking in the books. 10 minutes later, he comes up to us and wants to know what time Church starts this Sunday! We told him this Sunday is stake conference and he said he wil be there! HUZZAH!

At church a few weeks ago I met a brother who asked if I was related to Charles and Anne Parsons. I said yes and we talked. I mentioned granny Marie and how she would write letters to her friends as they moved with the Church. He said I was a blueblood because of my family in the Church.

21 January 2013

Sister Ensign comes at the end of March in a large intake. At last count there are 19 missionaries coming in the March intake and 15 of them are Sisters! President said that some Sisters who are training will have to double train!

That's so sad about President Smibert! I miss them terribly. I wanted to see them again and thought it would be wonderful to have President Smibert seal me when I get married. [Note: President Smibert passed away subsequent to this message, on March 13th]

The ward I am currently in is Madeley ward and Bishop Snow got released a few weeks ago. Our new Bishop is a man named Hamish Holder. He told me on Sunday that he was Uncle Steve's first companion on his mission :) How cool is that? The Holders are awesome. Dallin and Geralee Holder are in Ellenbrook ward and are wonderful. They are amazing fellowshippers and love helping out the missionaries as do all the Holders.

Doctrine and Covenants 84:85
"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man."

We also teach a LA family called the Konomanyis. They are African and we love them! On Saturday afternoon their cousin Tim from South of Perth came to visit them and sat and had a really interesting talk with us about the Bible. We were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to him and he asked questions that were deep, but had to do with the Plan of Salvation. We gave him a pamphlet and told him this would answer more of the questions he had about the meaning of life etc. and he asked in amazement: "Are you mind readers or something?" We told him how we pray to have the spirit (of discernment) with us every day for when we come across people like him. He's not in our area but he is golden! He is willing to meet with the Elders in his area and learn.

We also talked with a man in his front yard and he said he had given up on religion because it was contradictory when it came to things like the bible, and the people were hypocrites. He said alot of things that reminded me of Joseph Smith and we shared how we are the church of God, not a church of man and he asked for something to read so we gave him a Restoration pamphlet and he promised he would read it and ring us.

After contacting people, we were walking back towards our car when a lady called to us and asked us for one of the pamphlets we were carrying. She told us she used to be visited by the missionaries but lost contact with them and wanted to see them again so she was eager to get our number so she could call us.
Sister Fowler and Sister Parsons
These experiences have left me feeling happier in my spirit and I pray that I will be able to keep that.

14 January 2013

On Friday at district meeting I received a letter from a girl in Bountiful Utah. I opened the letter and to my surprise it was from a girl who had received her mission call last halloween to serve in the Australia Perth Mission! she had found my blog online and loves reading it so wrote to ask some questions and get to know me. I wrote back and am posting my letter today. Her name is Sister Ensign :)

I was naughty and looking for her online in the news (200 "pre sister missionaries" got together in front of the Salt Lake Temple and took a photo for the first preisdency - they made the news) and found she has made a blog of her own:

We were blessed to find 3 new investigators. Elizabeth is a teenage African girl (sister Fowler's and my specialty) with a great love for Jesus and an open mind to see if the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith are true and an Indian couple with a young daughter who are interested in eternal families.

D&C 136:31-33
"My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom.

"Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear;

"For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly."


Christmas Day 2012

On Christmas Day 2012 Sister Parsons was able to Skype our family from Perth to Sydney.  It was awesome.

When Sister Parsons called via Skype we were about to begin our Christmas lunch . . . great timing, so Sister Parsons was able to bless the food at our family Christmas meal.

We were able to see and talk to Sister Parsons for around 40 minutes; it was wonderful to hear her talk about the wonderful experiences of mission life.  We met her companion and some of the Elders who were there at the time as well.

What a great blessing to have a daughter diligently serve the Lord on a mission!

Madaley Ward, Dianella Stake - December 2012

 Elder Walters, Sister Parsons, Elder Sovral and Sister Fowler in the foreground on the way to crashing the Ellenbrook Ward Christmas party
I am thoroughly enjoying myself in Alexander Heights and with my new companion, Sister Fowler.

We work hard and Sister Fowler is not held back. She helps me become more confident.

In the few days I have been in my new area I have seen miracles in my missionary work. I have always struggled with inspired questions and with talking with everyone but both have been coming with ease! I am amazed at the questions I have been asking! I also realize and have been told that I am quite bold so I have been using that to my advantage.

I am still getting used to my area but am so thankful we have a car - although Sister Fowler doesn't want to use it everyday. So I will still have to deal with biking in the heat. And the hills are back for biking over...

I have met our investigator Annie who we have a baptismal date with but only once, although we set appointments with her everyday. We are confident she will be baptized but maybe not on December 15th as planned. This week will determine what will happen.

This past week Sister Fowler and I contacted over 100 people. More than I have ever done! I am proud that I am improving. On Saturday we contacted 59 people! It has made me realize though that out of all the people contacted, we only got 2 potentials. These Australian people sure do have hard hearts! I think soon enough we will have tried to talk with everyone in our areas.

We cover part of Ballajura, Alexander Heights, Mirabooka and Koondoola.

Our ward is nice but haven't seen or heard from our Ward Mission Leader yet.

Our District is awesome. We had an amazing District Meeting last Friday with Elder Sovral's training and being able to model with Pedro an investigator of Elder Sovral's and Elder Walter's. The Zone Leaders were super hyped as were the rest of us because of the great modelling experience that Sister Fowler and I had with Pedro as we modeled the Book of Mormon using inspired questions. Elder Ford was excited at the choice of questions asked exclaiming: "I'd never thought to say that before!" Pedro said it was so good we didn't need to improve! Sister Fowler and I are going to improve by trying to think of more inspired questions. Pedro offered some excellent advice to us all: "Just be like Jesus was, just be my friend."

It has been intensely hot over here. with clear blue sky and a beating sun. Transfer day was super windy and rainy! the bikes lined up in the car park were blown over!

26 November 2012

 Sister Parsons and Sister Uhi in Rockingham Ward.
Cumorah with Sister Parsons and Sister Uhi

Rockingham's Got Talent - November 2012

 Sister Parsons' Missionary Portal
Sister Uhi climbing a lemon tree in a members yard.
 Sister Uhi, Sister Parsons and Elder Poole after a Zone activity playing volleyball.
Sister Parsons and Sister Uhi after attending a Ward activity "Rockingham's Got Talent".

5 November 2012

 Elder Wright, Sister Parsons, Sister Uhi and Elder Cowley.
 Elder Guerney, Sister Parsons and Elder Askeroth.
Sister Parsons and Elder Kennach

Rockingham East

Sister Parsons and Sister Uhi in Rockingham East, October 2012
Sister Parsons, Elder Key and Sister Uhi
Sister Parsons taught the CTR 7&8 Primary class about Lehi and his family and their journey through the wilderness.

To celebrate Sister Parsons birthday on 27th October 2012 she and Sister Uhi were taken out for dinner and this delicious dessert!

22 October 2012 - Half Way - Rockingham East

In October 2012 Sister Parsons was transferred to Rockingham East and her new companion is Sister Uhi from Tonga.
One day the missionaries went into Perth city to contact people.  There are pianos located through out the city with signs on them which say "Play Me".  So Elder Gardiner played the paino and Sister Parsons sang Church hymns and songs.
This photo shows Sister Parsons singing with Elder Gardiner playing the piano.  You can see people listening and even taking photos as they perform in the centre of Perth.

This was an innovative and creative way to spread the Gospel message to the people of Perth.

October was the nine month mark of Sister Parsons mission, the half way mark.  One evening Sister Parsons and Sister Uhi had a meal with the Ward Mission Leader and his family.  His two year old son, Noah, bit Sister Parsons on the ankle!

24 September 2012

Sister Parsons with Sister Liu, whom she trained prior to being with her current companion (in September 2012) Sister Myers.