Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014

First of all, Thank you for the package! It was a surprise to be told on Wednesday that they had a package for me. I protected it the rest of the day like my life depended on it. =P My companion loved the punch balloon, after I explained what it was and how it worked. She actually sleeps with it!  I think it's because she doesn't know that it can be deflated and stored somewhere else. She told me that the other night she woke up holding and cuddling with it. I know, I thought it was great too. :D

Thank you for all of the letters. I got all of them on Saturday. I was standing in the offices, which was a challenge because of all the missionaries there,  (we had a zone conference), and the mailman walked in with a stack of letters and as Elder Trepanier, one of the secretaries, went through them it was, Hermana Parslow, other missionary, Hermana Parslow, other missionary, Hermana Parslow, Hermana Parslow, Hermana Parslow, Hermana Parslow. Wow! Did I feel loved or what?! :D I'm going to do my best to write everyone back and then I plan on sending them all back in one big envelope so that I can make sure none of them get lost. =)
Thank you everyone for your love and prayers. I feel it everyday. Thank you for your testimonies, they give me strength like you wouldn't believe. I love you all so much!

Quick story about this morning before I get started. Early this morning I got up to use the restroom. On my way there I almost fell over...couple of times...always to the left. I almost landed on my companion once but luckily caught hold of something first. Through my half awake haze I decided that because I had been sick the last couple of days, I must be so sick that my center of balance has been thrown off. I swore it must have been because I almost fell off the toilet. I was actually scared to get out of bed this morning because I thought I wouldn't be able to walk again. Bear with me here. I mentioned it to my companion to apologize for almost falling on her and she said that she had felt it too. That's when I realized, it had been an EARTHQUAKE! :D Not the kind that shakes the world upside down and destroys everything but more like the world is swaying to music and trying to rock everyone to sleep but really it just makes you nauseous. How cool is that?! We've had 3 earthquakes since I've gotten here but this is only the second one that I've felt. It's no volcanic eruption but I'm pretty sure it will do on the cool experience list. =)

Wow...what a week.

This week has definitely been an interesting one and mainly because I've hardly been in my area!
On Tuesday we had Intercambios...I have no idea what they're called in English, I'm pretty sure it's Exchanges. Anyway, our Sister Leaders in our mission came to our area and one of them stayed with my companion for the day while I left to another area with the other companion Hermana Chuc. She was great. She's from Cancun and has a year in the mission. Not to mention she's is a wonderful missionary. We talked most of the hour and a half bus ride to her area and found out that we share the same birthday. What?! I know! It was pretty cool. =) Her area is a little town on the edge of Puebla city. It was full of stray dogs, dirt roads, and people walking their cows. ...I know, awesome right? :D
I'm not gonna lie, the exchange was probably one of the worst things I've had to do since coming to Mexico, but I learned a lot. What happened is we went on splits with the members. I stayed in one town with members as my companinos and she left to another town for appointments. First a few of the members that were supposed to be my companions canceled and we were late for everything. Okay, that was fine really, you just kind of brush it off and move on.

Alright, First thing I learned: Some members like to talk....a lot.
When we went to our first appointment I had the bishop's wife and another member who had never accompanied the missionaries before. She was about as nervous as I was. I was just this little 3 week old missionary who had never before had a lesson with a member that was actually there to help.
The members were fantastic in their teaching but the lesson was supposed to be 20 minutes...we were there for an hour and a half. That's waaaaaaay too long.

Second: Members have a special spirit that they can bring to a lesson.
While listening to the members teach from their testimony and personal conviction, I felt the Spirit so strongly testify to me that what they were saying was true.

Third: Members are amazing but there is still something missing when they teach alone.
Okay, I hope I can say this right, members are amazing and definitely bring a great spirit when they bare their testimony but there is still a specific authority given to those who are called to teach. They talked and talked and talked and talked. I would try to include one of my comments but they would just talk and talk and although they were answering the investigator's questions and were testifying I could feel the difference from when missionaries teach and the members teach. 

Fourth: The Gift of Tongues DOES NOT work when you're frustrated.
Okay, the first lesson went on for forever and the I hardly spoke because the members took over the lesson. Not great but it seemed to help the investigator and so now I just had to figure out how to get to the other lessons on time.....didn't happen. By the time we left the first lesson, yeah, I was a little frustrated and lost and confused and yeah, kinda scared. I just thought to myself, "Breathe, Breathe, it's okay." and it was. I didn't really get frustrated until the member who had been afraid about the lesson decided that since we maybe had 10 minutes until my next companion arrived at our meeting place that we should make a "quick" 20 minute visit with a different member. That's about when I stopped understanding Spanish for the next half hour.

Fifth:Everything they taught in the MTC about teaching people and not lessons was true.
My second and last companion was great. She was kind, funny, and very patient with me and my lack of language skills. We got along great...until the lesson we taught together. I was a little frustrated because we had missed every appointment but one up to that point and we had no idea where we were. But that's alright, we ran into Hermana Chuc who directed us to one of the investigators and we ended up having a lesson with her...this poor investigator.
The member I was with taught a lesson. Almost perfectly from a book, but it wasn't what this person needed. We were talking about prophets, dispensations, and Joseph Smith and were going to ask her to pray if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. First of all, this poor woman had no idea what a prophet was, I know...because I asked her. I didn't get to hear her answer though because I asked while the member was answering a phone call in the middle of the lesson and while she was thinking about my question the member got off her phone and drove forward with her lesson. Also, the investigator didn't know what the importance of prayer was or even how to pray. This I knew because when she said the closing prayer she was very confused on what she was doing and how to do it. That was just a little aggravating simply because she didn't have to be left in the dark. Also, throughout the lesson the member would talk and talk and talk and then look at me and say, "Would you like to talk about dispensations?" "Would you like to talk about Joseph Smith?" Yes, thank you, I would love to do my job.
By the end of the day, I was exhausted, frustrated because the members knew I couldn't really speak Spanish so they overtook the lessons and it was like I was the member not the missionary, I couldn't understand Spanish anymore, and I was depressed because I had felt like I had failed. Yeah, It was a little bit of a rough day.
On the bright side, I got to witness someone truly commit to baptism because they want an eternal family, that was beyond cool, and I got to eat these fried banana things with sweetened condensed milk and strawberries that was positively delicious. =)

I tried really hard to harness the feelings I was experiencing but I just couldn't. I wanted to go back to my area, with my companion, in the place where I belonged, and I wished more than anything that I was in an English speaking mission where I could do my job. The feelings of frustration and failure lasted for a couple days until I finally broke down right as we were supposed to practice teaching the Plan of Salvation and I told my companion everything. It was then that I got the best peptalk of my life.
My companion looked at me with the same love and kindness that I can imagine the Savior looking at me with and said, "Hermana Parslow, who are you?"
"A daughter of God." I mumbled, knowing she wasn't asking for the too obvious.
"Where are you?"
"In Mexico..a place I hardly know, with people I can't understand, and a language I can't speak."
"And why are you here?"
"I don't know, because God told me to be."
"You are here because God needs you to be here for His children. He doesn't need you in the United States, He doesn't need you in England, or Europe, or anywhere else that speaks English. He doesn't need you in Africa or Canada or China. He needs you here, in Mexico, with people you don't know...yet. A language you can't speak perfectly...yet. He needs you here because this is where you can do His work. You can do it and He will help you."

It was then that my tears changed from frustration and fear and hopelessness to tears of gratitude. As the Spirit testified to me the truth of her words, something within me changed and is still changing. Every day since I experience something that makes me realize a little bit more what it means to be a missionary, here in Mexico, and the gift and responsibility I have been given to do the Lord's work and although it seems huge at times and like I can't do it, I am beyond grateful that I have the Lord on my side to help me help our brothers and sisters.

Yup, this week was rough, I had a not so great time in intercambios, we spent two days out of our area, sleeping on the floor of another Hermana's apartment because her companion went home and to finish it off I ended up in the hospital on Saturday night. Don't worry Mom, it was just an infection that's pretty common and I'm doing great now. =) However, I got to learn something that cannot be taught in schools or classes or anywhere else but here in the field. I got to grow, even if it was just a little bit, in a way that wouldn't be possible without being dragged down to where I just don't want to do it anymore. It is amazing to me how the Lord will let us be brought down but only because He intends to build us back up. I am so grateful for my Savior and His love and His Atonement. I am so grateful that I don't know it all yet and probably never will, but it is all the more reason to rely on Him and let Him help me in only the way He can. I testify that He lives, that He loves us, and that He will NEVER leave us alone. He is ALWAYS there, always, just waiting for us to let Him in. This is the message I am here, in Mexico, to share.

Hermana Parslow

"Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless...There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved."
--Thomas S Monson. 

This was my catch of the day on Sunday. It's our neighbors' white rabbit that loves to escape and got loose that morning. We caught him and returned him to his yard. We have no idea what his name is so we just call him "Borlito" =)

This is Molly. She's the dog of one of our less active members. She's sooo much fun and such a cuddle bug. She actually fell asleep on my lap during our lesson with the members. =)

A package from home!!!

Looking out the front door
My Apartment

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 19, 2014

Today is my two month mark of my mission! Wow, awesome right? :D
Wow, where to start...
Monday night last week we had a lesson with Marianna. She's the woman we contacted right outside our front gate. She's part of that crazy religion that "speaks in tongues" and where everyone passes out when they feel overwhelmed with the Spirit. She was telling us how during one of her first times at her church the preacher asked her if she was feeling the Spirit...with her feet. It was interesting but it was pretty cool to teach her. It was more of a this is what we believe and this is why. She was very interested in it and I'm pretty excited to teach her again. 
After our lesson this week with Felipe, one of our investigators that we just can't figure out what we need to do to help him. We decided to visit Jordy and Angeles. Two investigators that we had been trying to get ahold of for the past week or so. Like we figured, they didn't answer the door but as we were walking up the street deciding who we should visit. They ran out of the home next door and invited us in to teach them. We taught them a little more about the Plan of Salvation and discussed the importance of marriage. Jordy didn't like the idea too much and started expressing alot of doubts about the whole marriage thing. I quietly watched as normally do, wow, not sure how I got it into italics and I have no idea how to change it....huh, silly spanish keyboards...anyway, after I listened and observed for a while, Jordy asked me what I thought. I thought for a moment and then bore my testimony about the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how important it is for us in our lives. I testified of how it was the only way for us to be eternally happy with our families forever and that God never asks us to do something without a reason and everything that He commands us to do is for our benefit. It was really cool to watch them as I did my best to express my feelings because they really had to listen to understand.
On Wednesday, our ward had a celebration for Mother's Day. I got to meet a whole lot more of the women in the ward and got to know them more. I spent alot of the time laughing and enjoying watching them play musical chairs and karaoke.
Speaking of Karaoke, our neighbors behind us have Karaoke night atleast once a week and it goes from 9ish at night to about 3 in the morning. Oh my goodness. It's quite the nightmare. However, my companion and I will sit during our planning and every now and then rate them on how well they're doing. 
I got to see all my Hermanas from the MTC on friday. It was so great to see them all and to hear about their first 3 weeks in the field. 
Oh! I got the package!!!! I was going to get it on Friday but my Zone Leader tried to do me a favor and picked it up for me. I thought I was going to have to wait until Sunday but luckily we had a service project for out two newest investigators on Saturday and he gave it to me then. Thank you so much for your letters, the paddle, coloring book, and stickers! They couldn't have come at a better time. =) I've decided to become a paddle ball master by the end of my mission, it's good cause I think I'll get plenty of practice. ;) 
Our two newest investigators are wonderful. They're a little family with a month and a half old daughter. They're so sweet and the husband, German, seemed to understand what we were teaching real quick and even helped explained a little of it to his wife when she didn't understand something. It's always a cool moment when you're in a lesson and you're about to teach the lesson you planned but the Spirit tells you to switch the lesson and even though you don't say anything, you hear your companion change the lesson to where it's supposed to go. Totally had that moment. =) They were the ones that we did the service project for. I was so excited that I got to help. We were moving this little mountain of dirt, bricks, and other assorted pieces of....things, that was in their yard. Elder Reidhead kept saying, "One man's trash is another man's potpourri." Yeah, I know...he's just alittle wierd. =) It was so nice to do some hard manual labor again. My companion thought I was crazy, even after I explained that it was a part of my childhood and felt like a little piece of home. We're finishing up the little mountain on thursday and are doing some yardwork for a member on Wednesday. Hooray for service! I'm super excited! :D 
This Sunday we got a less active young member attend church for the first time in two years. I was so impressed with the members of the ward as they greeted him with open arms. There was hardly a moment when I looked over to see how he was doing and he wasn't being caught in conversation or being hugged by someone. He had a great time. =) If they hadn't of reached out like they did I don't think he would have liked it as much. It's really important to make people feel noticed every time they walk in the door to the church. I invite everyone to try and reach out to everyone when you attend church on Sundays. Even if they're active members. Everyone needs a little love. =) 
Last quick story. We've been trying to be better at contacting in the street because we're not too good at it and we're kinda hurting for people to teach. Last night on our way home my companion started contacting two people who were sitting on the side of the parking lot. She asked if she could give them a card and they agreed. After she started explaining that we were missionaries, the woman gave the card back. They both stood up and the man started asking if we were the Mormons. Of course we said yes. Turns out he has an old and well abused copy of the Book of Mormon. The woman did not like all. Especially once we started talking about Joseph Smith and having prophets today. I could feel her anger rolling off her in waves. I was ready to be like, "Wow, look at the time, I think we left out oven on..." but my companion stood her ground regardless of their questions and hostility and calmly and friendly continued to share the Gospel and answer their questions. My respect and admiration for her grew even more in that moment. I want to be like that when I grow up. =) 
Oh! We were playing soccer today with another zone and I saw that my District Leader had somehow hurt his leg. I asked him what happened and his answer was, "I prayed." What? Turns out, he had gone down to kneel and as he slid his leg back, he pulled something in his thigh. Then he made it worse when he made a boss goal earlier that day during the soccer game. Wow. Best injury story! Better watch out for those prayers...they can be dangerous. =)
My companion is crazy. The other night I was trying to get service on our silly cellphone and so I was out by our boiler, for some reason it's the only place we can get service at night, and my companion was in our living room area with our broom. I'm focused on the phone when suddenly there's a crash of glass and a flash of light. Then it goes dark. Apparently my companion had been twirling the broom like it was a colorguard flag and hit the lightbulb that dangles from the ceiling, promptly breaking it. Wow, I know right? She's not allowed near the broom anymore. =P
I'm so glad to hear everything is going well at home.
I love you all! You're all in my prayers! I miss you all!

May 12, 2014

Hola everyone!
This week was an interesting one. It was actually pretty rough too. We didn't have many people to teach and those we were going to teach often cancelled. I was surprised that so many appointments had fallen through. Saturday morning I woke up feeling really down. The day previously we didn't have a single appointment hold, not even our usual lunch appointment happened. We had tons of time and I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. We tried a little bit of contacting and visiting the less active members but it just felt like we didn't do any work. When I told my companion how I felt during study time, she reminded me that it's going to happen. Sometimes we'll teach 30 lessons in one week and sometimes we'll hardly teach any. It's all a matter of perspective and remembering that things will get better. Today we'll work better and harder than yesterday. It'll all about moving forward.
We have one investigator named Felipe....He's an interesting indivdual. He's studying English for his work and loves to talk. Especially when he talks to the missionaries because he can practice his English. It's great but the only problem is that we think he only wants to meet with us to practice, not to actually learn about the gospel. We're not sure how to help him see the importance of the gospel in his life but I hope we will be able to.
Monday night we got to have FHE with the Vasquez family. They are so much fun. I have no idea what they say half the time but it's great being with them anyway. We taught about family love and left them with the commitment to show a simply demonstration of love for each other every day of the week. This invitation goes for everyone else too. =) A little love can go a long way. =) (Speaking of which, say "Hi" to everyone you meet. I've tried to keep this a habit here and greet everyone we pass. The other day I just didn't feel like doing it so I hardly greeted anyone. As we walked by a little side store we pass everyday, I heard, "Buenas Tardes!!" I turned around to see the young man I say hello to everyday, waving at us and grinning. It brightened my day. You never know who you're affecting when you show a little kindness.) After the lesson and we were leaving, I started to notice this little tan beetle things crawling about the house. I had never seen them before. The two boys Daniel and Javier started picking them up and trying to get me to hold them. As it turns out, these little guys are all over the place at night. They land all over the sidewalk and try to sneak inside of people's houses. I have no idea what they're called but I'll let you know when I find out. =) I love spending time with the Vasquez family. They give that feeling of home. A couple of the members here give that feeling. Like Hermana Mary Carmen. 
We had a lunch appointment with Mary Carmen this week and we usually leave every house with some sort of lesson. We decided to talk with her about eternal families, since we had found out that she was living with her boyfriend. We hadn't really met him yet so we didn't figure he would be there. Well, as it turns out, he was. At first we felt awkward and a little nervous about this topic and sharing it with them but we knew it was the lesson the Lord had asked us to teach, so we did. He ended up being super awesome and they were really into the discussion.
My mission president consistently says that the focus of this mission is MIRACLES. He says that right now is an amazing time to be in the mission because missionaries throughout are experiencing miracles everyday. I haven't quite had the chance to experience grand miracles yet but I have experienced some small ones. Like when it was downpouring right after our meeting on Wednesday night at the chapel and neither of us wanted to run through the rain and we ended up not having to because a kind member couple offered us a ride. Or on Saturday when I had prayed for help in making contacts and right as we walked out of our front gate there was someone to contact. She was very nice and receptive and we actually have an appointment with her tonight. Or, I know this is silly, but having warm water in the shower. Now, let me explain, our boiler is funky. It's supposed to give hot water the whole time but it only stores up some before the water gets cold. Now I'm not complaining but a warm shower is nice every now and then. Well, usually only one person gets to have a warm shower and it's whoever gets in the shower first...this is usually my companion. The other day, I was waiting for my companion to be done in the shower, looking at how long she had been in the shower, and knew that there was absolutely no hot water left. It had been a rough morning and I wasn't looking forward to the freezing cold. I prayed in my heart for Heavenly Father to heat up the water. Guess what? He did! I know it's nothing grand but it meant alot that morning and He understood that. Just an example that there is nothing we could ask for that is too small for the Lord to answer.
Today we had a zone activity. First we played kickball, which was really fun, and then soccer. I was a little aprehensive about playing soccer because I'm awful at it. However, apparently as long as I'm in a group of missionaries I'm not too bad. There were plenty of accidents and hilarious moments but probably the one that caused the most attention was when an Elder and I collided. He had the ball and when I went for the ball we both slipped and I ended up hitting him right in between the legs. I know, ouch. Everyone was laughing really hard and I tried to apologize countless times but I was laughing to hard to really make it sound sincere.
It's amazing how much you can learn about yourself in just two weeks of being in the field. I'm learning that obedience is really hard but not impossible and if we try our hardest to be exactly obedient, Heavenly Father will give us countless opportunities to prove that we're trying. You'll be happy to hear this Cortney, I hate being late. It drives me nuts. I've become that companion that is standing at the door waiting and calling up the stairs that it's time to go. I have started to see the kind of missionary I truly want to be and I'm beginning to understand just how hard I need to work to get there, I'm so excited. :D  
It was so wonderful to see you all on Saturday. I'm so glad you're all doing great. =) I love you all and thank you so much for all the love and support that you share with me. =)

May 5, 2014

Wow! What a week!

It's wonderful here in Mexico. On Monday our flight got delayed in Houston for almost 2 hours. The poor President, his wife and the AP's. They were at the airport in Puebla until 11. We were supposed to land at 8:30. When we finally landed, we were all beyond excited and couldn't believe we had made it. After we made it through customs and met those waiting for us, they took us to the mission home. They were kind enough to give us a background and warning on the mission on the way to the house. The house is amazing by the way! It's huge! and super nice. They told us that there's only 15 American sisters in the mission out of over 200 missionaries! Awesome right?! We really are paving the way for other American sisters.
The next morning they let us sleep in since we didn't get to sleep until midnight. In the morning we got the meet the Secretaries. They were very nice, which was great because half of us were terrified. I kept getting told by the American elders to eat as much of breakfast and lunch as I could because once I got to my area I would wish I had. Looking back, they were totally right. I already miss Hermana Christensen's cooking. We got an orientation about the rules, our companions, and how President Christensen wants us to do our work. Which is mainly referrals and street contacting. After the orientation and lunch, the President took us to the chapel where they were doing transfers. There were missionaries....EVERYWHERE! They were all speaking Spanish and it was all I could do to not look terrified. We went into the chapel and sat in the front row. They took care of a couple of items of business, sang a song, introduced us, and then everyone got up and moved to the sides of the room. They listed the names of the new companionships and the new companions would hug each other, take a picture, and then sit down. Some of the missionaries were super excited about their new companions. It was suprisingly intense to wait for your name to be called. My new companion is Hermana Manjarres. When they called our names and started towards each other, I heard one of the secretaries say my name, I looked over and he was making arm movements, I thought he wanted me to raise my hands so that she could find I did. It was then that he said to jump up and down like I was excited. Oops.
I love my new companion. She's amazing. She's been so kind and patient with me. Luckily, she speaks some English, so we can communicate fairly well. She's so funny and loving. I can't believe I have her as my companion, I swear I got the best. She refuses to let me sit back and not talk which is great but horrible at the same time. It's kinda funny because she's just as new to the area as I am and so we get lost...alot. It's a lot of fun though.
My new area is in the ourskirts of Puebla city. It's alot like the Bronks or the ourskirts of Manhattan. We live in an area that is the middle class area of Puebla. When we first got here we didn't have anything...seriously nothing. It was awesome! =) It took us a couple of days and the ward mission leader to figure out our boiler. We didn't have any hot water for a couple of days, my first shower here was very, very, very cold. The kind where you stop breathing while standing in the water. Pretty cool eh? We couldn't get it to light for the life of us. It just so happens that it was because we hadn't turned on the gas...yeah...I know.
   I really like it here. It's really hard work, especially when the most you can say is your name, that you're a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints, Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening. My companion was surprised that I kept greeting everyone we passed in the street. It was the only thing I could say so...I might as well say it. As it turns out, there's this member family that I ablsolutely love. They're the Vazques family. They are so sweet and refuse to let me be shy and quiet and not talk so I'm forced to be social with them. It's really nice cause I'm too scared to talk otherwise. Anyways, their 15 year old son Daniel was telling us that earlier in the week he had been having a bad day and when we passed him and greeted him, he realized that we were missionaries and his day brightened. Isn't that awesome? A little kindness can go a long way.
Being fluent in English has already started to be a blessing. The Sister Vasquez has a neice who's studying languages in the Univeristy in Puebla. We've already arranged for an appointment so that she can practice her English and so that we can teach her. I'm so excited! 
Guess what? I was only here for two days before I got to have a weird experience! Because I'm about as American looking as they get, I get alot of attention from people on the street, especially the men. O.O My second name here is "American!" We were waiting for a Sister in the ward because we were having lunch with her and she had offered to come pick us up and this man walks up and in slow, broken, and very slurred English asks if I'm American. Of course I say yes, and we start talking a little bit. He had spent some time in New York and so he knew some English. He asked why I was here in Mexico and my companion explains that we're missionaries. I think he was talking about his religion because he said that he has GRAND faith and pulls out a Saint card. The sister we had been waiting for walked up and greets us and he greeted her with a big wet kiss on the cheek. I know. I felt bad for her too. Since we had to leave I took the opportunity to give him a pass along card. I said, "You say that you have grand faith?" He responded with grabbing my hand and holding it to his chest with both hands as if to say, "Can't you feel it?" I later found out that he was very drunk...this explains alot.
I am also proud to say that I have been here one week and have already received a proposal of marriage. His name was Gabriel and was very excited to meet an American. He spoke some English also and walked with us a little ways on our way home. Although he was very nice. I told him that my heart belonged to Jesus Christ. He wasn't phased but I figured it was worth a shot.
Oh! On Saturday we were visiting the Sisters in the ward so that we could introduce ourselves and get to know them. We totally got caught in a rainstorm! At first it just sprinkled and then it got a little worse and then it just down poured. We were soaked in minutes. It was awesome! I was soooo excited. We also had a little friend follow us. He was a sweet little dog that I named Harry. He followed us everywhere. My companion and the member we had with us didn't care for him much but I did. Dogs need love too! =)
There's a family that we've started teaching. They have a little daughter who has a lot of problems but they have a desire to change. Which is a miracle in and of itself! I can't wait to start teaching them about the Atonement and how Christ can help them with everything!
My first Sunday in the ward was nice. It was fast Sunday so I didn't have to speak...phew! Just kidding. The members have such strong testimonies and there's never an awkward silence while waiting for someone to walk up to the pulpit to bear their testimonies. The members are also so giving and kind. They've taken such good care of us.
I know it's not that important but I got my wish and I now do my laundry by hand! It takes...forever. It's good though, it gives time to ponder and for your companion to take a nap. =)
Hermana Christensen called on Sunday to check up on how all the new American sisters were doing. I found out that Hermana Ibarra, my companion in the CCM was doing fine, as far as Hermana Christensen could tell but Hermana Wells was having a hard time. Her and her companion got eaten alive by bedbugs. They had to move in with some other sisters while their apartment got taken care of. I feel so bad. I think she's doing alright though.

I'm learning quickly that although I'm absolutely terrified to talk to people here, if I just do it, the Lord will help. He does every time. I must admit that I'm sick of being scared to talk to people. I've decided, no more! I'm going to do my best to make a lot of street contacts...we'll see how it goes.

I love you all! I'll see you on Saturday when I skype for Mothers Day! :D
Hermana Parslow and her new companion Hermana Manjarres

Right after transfers, Carlie looks a little nervous!!

Finally made it to MEXICO!!!

Finally made it after an hour delay inTX

Carlie and her Mission President

At the mission home waiting to meet her new companion  

Alma 37:33-37,  Hermana Parslow "Preach unto the people of Puebla Mexico, repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart: teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls...O, remember my daughter...cry unto the Lord for all they support...Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and he will direct thee for good."

Life in the MTC

Pointing to Puebla Mexico :)
Carlie downtown SLC getting her Visa

With her companion Hermana Ibarra

Carlie's district
Carlie LOVED her companion!!