Friday, August 18, 2017

Finished! Thank you!

Sister Parker returned home safely to her family.  Thank you to all the airline workers who brought her successfully home across over 6000 miles.  Thank you to everybody who helped make her mission a success, a good memory and good experience.   Thank you to all those who gave her friendship during her mission.  Loving one another, and helping each other, makes life worthwhile, and helps us get through life, and is a manifestation of God's Love.

18 August 2017.   K-Mom.

Monday, August 14, 2017

72nd week in Japan. 4th Area. Finishing up.

There's a new investigator that we met last week.  IT WAS SO COOL!!!  One of the biggest miracles on the street!  So we were walking back home at night and we saw this family (now, already at night, dendouing [missionary street contacting] is kind of hard, Japanese people get scared easier). One of them said hello and we started chatting.  It's was a young couple with a 3 month old baby. The mom, S_____, is from Sweden, and the dad is Japanese, named M_______.   They have had experiences, miraculous ones, that just testify that God is leading them in their lives up to this special point in time.  They are Christian and M_______ is a first generation Christian in his family. Sister Call, my great missionary companion, simply testified of the Restoration and how we are in Japan sharing it to everyone who will listen.   Then M_______ said "Do you have time?" And we said, "Yes!"  He asked us to teach him now and so we did and we went to their house which was close by, and we taught them about the Restoration of the gospel.  They are elect people!!  Heavenly Father lead them and us to meet!!  It was an amazing lesson.  They have so many questions and believe in Christ and prophets living now in this day!!  M_______ said at the end that he didn't understand everything we said because it is very high level English, but he can tell that here is something different about us and he can see it in our eyes.  He said we are pure and connected to God.  They have strong desires to learn more!! I think the Lord just saved three souls!!!  How exciting to be the instruments in finding them!!!!

I prayed that I'd be able to teach the Restoration of the gospel again before I leave Japan, because I haven't been able to do it much lately, and he answered my prayer so lovingly!! Despite how weak and unworthy I am, he answered so many prayers that day!!!  It was wonderful!!!  I'm still so happy!! :D
So yeah, we will be teaching them on Tuesday and then Wednesday morning is transfer days.  We are still planning transfers for the Sisters in the Zone so I'm not sure what time we will leave, but we will go to the honbu [mission office] and meet the new missionaries coming in.  I will meet my former trainee, Sister Madsen, and she will be meeting her new companion straight from the MTC! Then Sister Burke and I will visit members, investigators, specifically M_____ (our recent convert) We will also attend Eikaiwa [English conversation class that missionaries teach], somewhere in that time frame.  These final days will also include time at the honbu, a little bit more dendouing, a special breakfast made by Sister Nagano, and, later on, a special dinner.  The last day will include a meeting, pictures, and off to the airport.  [Thank you Japan for the wonderful experience!  So many wonderful people...!]

Sister Parker


With Sister Haroldsen at an Indian curry place.  It's an older picture that an Eikaiwa student sent me

LDS Tokyo Temple, a symbol of the church in Japan

He watches over and invites all to come unto Him

Until we meet again

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

71st Week in Japan. 4th Area. What is your true treasure in life?

7 August 2017

I'm just trying to take things day by day. There is a tiredness that hits the last few weeks of the mission.  I've been going harder, trying to do the Lord's will in spite of feeling tired! We've talked to so many people and saw many miracles by following the Spirit.  I'm trying my best to be obedient to the Lord, and diligent.  I'm glad to be going home soon, but [after being in Japan for close to a year and a half] I'm also kind of afraid to adjust back to American culture and people.  But I know that everything will be okay and I have prayer to communicate with Heavenly Father to guide me what to do. :)

Our top investigator, H_____, is doing awesome!! We had a F.H.E. [Monday night home religious meeting with family or friends] last night organized for her by the Ward [congregation] mission leaders.  Sister Call and I shared a message about the restoration of Jesus Christ's gospel. We made it kind of a discussion and used pictures and asked the members how they came to know this message was true. At the end we confirmed their testimonies with ours.  She really liked it, and especially liked when Sister Call talked about our testimonies being treasures.  H_____ wants to gain her own testimony of God and many more "treasures."

Background story, H_____ is a young woman and a referral from a member who is going on a mission next week to America. 

Also, going back to treasures. I've off and on thought about the scripture "treasures in heaven."

It's in 3 Nephi 13 as well as the New Testament.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven is through righteousness, good works and Christ-like deeds. But also in our personal experiences, or "Ahhh" moments, I believe, we have treasure.  So like holding your first child in your arms, the beginning of a family.  Or surfing on a really good tide. Or
helping a random old lady into her house, for example.  It can be really small things.  Often the relationships that we make with our brothers and sisters will be treasures that we are laying up in heaven.  One of the hardest things that we need to deal with is others.  So Jesus Christ set that perfect example of how we should act and speak and think. Because of the atonement, Jesus Christ can not only cleanse us, but changes and transforms us. The verses go on and say:

"21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22 The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light."

These are just my thoughts through prayer and study.  But you may know more about the Sermon on the Mount. It's "benkyouchuu" for me!  It's something I'm in the middle of studying. What are some treasures you have had in your life?

Sister Parker


Monday, August 7, 2017

70th Week in Japan. 4th Area. God's perfect plan for imperfect people.

31 July 2017

Hey hey everyone!

It's hotter here in Japan than usual. There hasn't been as much rain during Tsuyu as there should be.   I've been kind of tired lately, I think it's the 12th transfer tiredness. 

This week, my great companion was pretty sick so we needed to stay inside part of the week, but she is doing a lot better now.  We had exchanges with the Kasukabe Sisters this week and I got to reunite with my MTC companion again. :)  It's amazing to see how much she had grown, even in the last five transfers. Shout out to Sister Burke!!

I've been working as hard as I can and pushing to the end.  As I've kept a prayer in my heart and seemed to help others, I feel good and that the Lord is proud of me.  I've had some experiences and opportunities to be like the Savior and reach out my hand to those in need. I love helping people. Especially by inspiration of the Spirit!  This gospel is so important to me and I will continue to grow my faith by sharing it with everyone I can.  I've been thinking about H_____ [my investigator]  more recently and how to help her understand the gospel better, and we are working on contacting her everyday and sharing a scripture to help her understand her relationship with God.

Alma 30:44
"The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Everything proves there is a God. There is heavenly being who watches over us and has created everything how He did for us.  God answers the "why" of everything.  He has created a perfect plan for us to receive happiness and joy beyond comparison!  The scriptures guide us and help us to follow his plan and it's just straight ahead!  So keep going! Keep trying!  He has sent a Savior to help us and lift us when we are down. It's Christ.

Japanese people are so naturally Christ-like. But they don't believe in Christ.  And it's the same for us too!!  We cannot just go through the motions without exercising faith in Christ. Believing in His written words, the Book of Mormon, Bible, and more!  Keep following and trusting in His promises! It makes the journey more enjoyable anyways.  :)

I know this is truuuuuuueeeee!!!

 I had a really good Sunday, we ate at the Stake President's * house with his family and one of his sons' friends, K_____! So he is American but married a Japanese woman so his family is bilingual!  It was really fun and I remember feeling happy to be surrounded by a lot of members. Truly families are ordained of God, to have support and places of love and comfort. They create the perfect atmosphere to learn and grow and apply the things of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

* Stake President =  An ecclesiastical leader over a multi-congregational area.

Here are some pictures.   We went and visited a Shrine.  The other picture was from Friday--- we had Missionary Leadership Council meeting.  I also made some veggies with chicken. It looked really good, so I took a photo.

Sister Parker


Friday, July 28, 2017

69th Week in Japan. 4th Area. His Mercy is extended to all who believe and also repent.

24 July 2017

Hello All,

Today I read 3 Nephi 18-20  [ 3 Nephi 18 click here ] and it was really good!  Christ's arm of mercy is extended to all who repent and believe in him.  Thought of the day:  Alma 5:33  33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.

Sister Parker

Monday, July 17, 2017

68th Week in Japan. 4th area. Joy to the world is available everyday.

July 17, 2017

Yes, it's really hot and humid. Today, it is 37 degrees Celsius [98.6 degrees F].  But, I feel like God has blessed me because it is not overbearing. It feels hot, but I don't have like an annoyance. I feel tolerant to it.  I was tolerant to the winter, too. I think it is a blessing from Heavenly Father because I was talking with a member who said it was the same for her on her mission and then when she finished and moved back to Japan, it felt too hot in the summer.

And I love love love Sister Call!! She's from Utah and we are really similar people.  It's really fun to dendou [missionary work] together and she is just so loving!!

What a wonderful week!!  There's been exchanges, conferences, and meetings. When Sister Call and I talk to people on the street, sometimes we bring up the weather to approach them and it's not weird.  Talking about the weather is actually quite ordinary, I'd say.

"It's hot, isn't it!"
"... Right?! It's so hot!" *pulls out fancy Japanese sweat towel (because everyone has one)*
"Yeah, really hot!"
"Where are you from?"

 So maaany miracles!!  I love serving the Lord and being apart of His great work. There's sometimes that I am afraid or not sure what to do, but I have followed the Spirit's guidance in knowing what to do, where to go, and what to say. And it has always been good.

Now story time!! This week we had awesome experiences. A lady named K____ came to the International church group [congregation].  I met her (K) back when I lived in Kasukabe and was on splits with Sister Moffat, on our way to meet somebody in Urawa.  K_____ had been praying about which church to attend.  H_____ is taking lessons again. And we had another lesson on Sunday with a member, N________ A___ Shimai [Sister] attending also. We talked with H_____ about the scriptures that prompted her (Alma 32:17-18) and we shared experiences.  She said that she feels like she's finally coming to understanding what she is learning in our lessons and she is finding more confidence in herself.  She wants to be humble.  I remember looking into her eyes and they were shining and a little watery.  I felt moved by the Spirit... to say, "I feel that God really loves H_____, right now.  I know God created all things for you and He loves you. He wants you to go back to Him and as you continue to learn and study the Book of Mormon, you will want to pray and want to go to church and want to read the Book of Mormon.  And your confidence will strengthen." ...And so forth. The Spirit was so strong and it was peaceful.  We ended with an astounding testimony by singing "I am a Child of God" on the ukulele. 💮
Meeting H_____ for the first time and then seeing her turn into a friend was wonderful. And even more wonderful is seeing that friend coming to know, even a little bit, that there is a God that exists, and there is someone that loves Her, is joyful.  Sharing the gospel is what brings joy.  We are training now to become like Heavenly Father.  And I
think it's because Heavenly Father is only focused on us and our salvation is a part of the reason why He is the way He is.  And God is a joyful being!  So when we turn outward and help those around us, we are helping people see the light of Christ. 

There are those who are surrounded by pride, the voices of the world, sadness, pain, temptations, or sin.  He or she in those circumstances, needs the light of Christ to guide them out of the darkness.  And I know that as we try to share the light of Christ in us with others, it will grow and theirs will grow.  Sharing the gospel will not only bring joy, but become the source of joy.  Our journey is one that cannot be finished and awarded with a celestial, heavenly medallion on our own.

Sometimes, it may start with just a smile, or a hand, or even a video from the LDS media library shared on social media.

Mosiah 2:
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into
heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Sister Parker

Our recent Zone conference.  Sister Call and I are on the far left.

We made hummus!!! This is amazing!! Hummus is not a thing in Japan, at all. Nope.

Sister Call and I are in the center

67th Week in Japan. 4th Area. Speaking things when moved by the Holy Spirit

10 July 2017

I have a new companion, Sister Call and she is awesome!!  We are eating super healthy together!! It's great! I feel more focused on the Lord's work, and she's awesome with connecting to people and I'm learning so much from her. :)   We connect so much and dendou [missionary work] is so fuunn!   It makes sharing the gospel more natural and we tend to find more potential investigators (P.I.s) I think. :)  Being a Sister Trainer leader is still fun, it's hard leading the area, but I'm depending on the Lord and giving my burdens to him and He is making me stronger. I'm very grateful.

Church was greaaaat!!   We had three investigators in Koshigaya and then the Elder missionaries had more and so many other new people.  The ward [congregation] is on fire there.   And we are starting to get more fire in the Urawa Ward [congregation].  Member missionary work!! 

We met a woman a few weeks ago on the train who plays tennis.  She is from Indonesia and we are going to play together.  She is muslim(?) and so she believes in Jesus Christ but only as a prophet, and she seems to have some potential, so we are going to see what comes of it. :) 

I had a dream before getting my mission assignment that I was going to the Philippines to serve or be with Filipino people.  Well, there are many Filipino people in Japan.  Sister H____ is Filipino and she and her son are great!  Their testimonies are strong!  Yesterday we had a lesson on the train.  She was telling me about some of her struggles in a particular area of her life, and I was able to help her.  The Holy Spirit guided me what to say and what questions to ask.  There were scriptures I was comparing in the New Testament, that the Spirit brought to my remembrance.  Through reading them together, she had the courage to do what the Lord wants her to do.  It was Matthew 16:24-29 in JST section.

It says something like, "Whosoever shall seek to save his life in this world shall lose it in the world to come, but whosoever shall lose his life in this world for my sake (Jesus's name) shall find it in the world to come."  🌌 🌎 ☀️

Sister Kirsten Parker


Enjoy the pictures :)

This is me, with Sister Haroldsen (from last week) with N_______ who is starting to study the Book of Mormon

The young woman in the red is another investigator we have been working with for a few weeks, H_____.

Dinner at the M_______'s house.