Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 61

Okay, sorry I'm so low on time. This week was great though! Yuchen was baptized this Saturday, and Li who was baptized when I was here last year, baptized him! It was such a neat experience to see Li exercise the Priesthood authority he has been given to bless others. Loveday who was baptized last week gave a talk at Yuchen's baptism. She did extremely well. She sounded like she had been giving talks her whole life! I was so happy for her :)

I have grown to love people from China even more than I already did. For the most part, they are the most kind, gentle people. A lot of them here are just hungry for the Gospel. We had a lesson with someone from Guang Jo (that's probably not how you spell it), China, and it was such a spiritual lesson. He poured out all of these wonderful questions, and we had answers! We taught him about the nature of God, the importance of families, how God shows His love by calling prophets, and about the Book of Mormon. We didn't have enough time to share the whole Restoration lesson with him, but he was just eating up the information we gave him. He attended church with us yesterday. We have a Chinese Gospel Principles class which Loveday will teach. We learned all about the Priesthood yesterday in class which I think reaffirmed the things we taught this particular person earlier this week. 

This week we had a showing of Meet the Mormons at the Branch building. We made fliers and invited everyone we could. 10 minutes before it was supposed to start, there was still no one there. We were so bummed! We ran outside and invited everyone we could. We didn't get very good reactions from the frat houses, but we did it anyway haha. We couldn't get anyone to come. We turned around and went back to the building to find the parking lot full. Members had invited thier friends! There were at least 8 non-members there to see this documentary. It was such a wonderful testimony to me that Members and full-time missionaries must work together to see optimum success. I'm so grateful to this wonderful branch for their efforts in being disciples of Christ and "strenghten[ing their] brethren." 

We were looking for new people to teach, so we just went through the records in our area book, and we set up about 4 appointments I think! One was a sweet older lady who lived not too far from us. We went over and taught her the first lesson, and at first she was showing all signs of being a Pennsylvania talker, but right when we started teaching, she quieted down and listened! It was a miracle! It was such a great time to address her concerns with the Gospel of Jesus Christ :) We'll pass her off the Elders this week. 

Our investigator Khoa showed us his soccer skills this week. He's like YouTube good! He could spin it on his forehead, ear, head, finger, back, foot, and a whole bunch of cool stuff! I took a video of it, but I can't send it over this email, so you'll have to wait for a few more months to see! 

There was a football game this Saturday which brought out a lot of bad here haha. It was a little hard to see and hear the conversations being had on the bus. It just made me so so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so happy to be sharing this important message with the inhabitants of the Earth (well, Pennsylvania). 
Students here have tons of Penn State pride, so they do this thing where someone will yell, "WE ARE," and then everyone is supposed toyell, "PENN STATE!" On our way to the Church building on game day, someone yelled out the window, "WE ARE," and for some reason I didn't register what he was saying. He again yelled, "WE ARE," and I realized what he was saying, but I thought he might be talking to someone else. I looked around, and we were the ONLY ones on the sidewalk, so he was obviously talking to us.....he yelled once again, "WE ARE," but by this point we were too embarrassed to yell back because we had ignored him the past two times, so we just kept walking. As we walk away we hear him yell, "You suck!" hahahaha it was quite funny. Someone else yelled "Hey, I like your dress girl," as they drove by, and we also got called Amish. "Amish girls rock!" hahaha game day...'nuff said. 

That is all I can think of at this point! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! If you feel like you know uh writing me a ummm letter this week, I would maybe love it perhaps. Kloveyou! Love,

Sister Sparks


 covering her knees because they were showing haha

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 60

Hmmmm let's see here....this week was wonderful! It's such a beautiful day here in State College. The sun is shining, the wind is not as treacherous, and I finally don't have to wear tights!!!!! Yay!!! 

Our investigators are doing wonderfully! Two of them have accepted baptismal dates of May 30. We're so excited! One investigator in particular I have such a huge soft spot for. He is just so sweet. He's a student here studying physiology. He's originally from Vietnam, but his English is great. I met him on the bus, and he said, "Wow, you're a missionary. That's great! I see myself as a man of science, but I've always wondered what religious people have that I'm missing." I can't remember if I already mentioned that in an earlier email, but I am still excited about it either way! Our first meeting with him was good, but you could tell he definitely had "Agnostic" views. We've met with him two times since then, and HOLY COW he has grown so much!! He doesn't recognize it as much as we do, but he went from, "Well, I'm really not sure if there is a God, and if there is, how could He be our Father?" to, "Well, I read both of the chapters you left with me. I prayed every day this week as well. My life has been quite good lately, and I am excited to see if I'm ready to be baptized on May 30th." SO COOL!!! That is the power of the Spirit. It truly changes us. 

Okay HILARIOUS story...so the investigator I just mentioned has such a funny way of talking...I love it so much! He goes, "Okay, okay, yes, uhuh, definitely, yes, absolutely. Ahhhhh, well Sisters, this poses a question," all throughout our meetings! It cracks me up! This meeting in particular I was just soaking in all of the wonderful changes he was making, and then we asked him a question. As he thought about his reply, he leaned forward and pushed up his glasses gently with his pointer finger, and they SNAPPED IN HALF....I seriously did not know what to do with myself. I was literally laughing sooo hard I could not stop. I sound heartless, right? The funny thing was he had both pieces of his glass in his hands, and he looked at them and automatically said, "Ummmm, okay, okay this is great. This has never happened before, but uh definitely, I think I have a friend who can fix this." I didn't want him to think I was laughing at the fact his glasses broke, so I ran out and got tape so he could fix them hahaah. You had to be there to experience how funny this was, but just trust...it was hilarious. 

Loveday, an investigator I taught last year, got baptized on Saturday!! It was so great! I was able to see all of the wonderful progress she's made. I could truly see her countenance change. As she sat there with wet hair listening to the remarks made about the Holy Ghost, I could just feel God's love radiate from her! It was so neat for real. I'm so grateful I get to see the fruits of my labors because many missionaries don't! Well, yeah, GREAT week, okay?

I hit my 14 month click day yesterday...insane. #4togo I LOVE PENNSYLVANIA. 
K love,

Sister Sparks

cleaning the font fun

 the branch supporting her! (Loveday's baptism)

 dancing with baby blanket

funny shot

 double chin shot like always

 one with the jumpsuit

 weekly planning. sunflower face

 loveday and me :)

 love her!!

Week 59

Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who are members of the Church, we were able to celebrate by hearing directly from Christ's servants--prophets and apostles of God. It was such a blessing to hear their inspiring messages and testimonies of Christ. I love the testimony given by Peter in Acts 10:34-43. To quote just a few lines, "...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him; And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." What a powerful testimony Peter gave Cornelius in those verses. It is also my testimony that Christ lives. He lives and loves us. "He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New..." He instituted the sacrament, performed miracles, suffered for our sins, and ROSE FROM THE GRAVE giving each of us the gift of immortality. He overcame spiritual death as well to enable us to not only have immortality but eternal life if we will but love and follow Him. 

Happy Easter to all of those who celebrated in different ways too! I hope it was spent with those you love :) I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Christ that enables us to change. I am so sorry to anyone who I may have caused trouble, harm, offense, or anything of the sort. I ask for your forgiveness and hope we can all find peace and hope in a bright future #becauseHelives. 

Speaking of#becauseHelives…...An investigator I taught here almost a year ago is getting baptized Saturday! I am so excited for her!!! It is such a blessing to see the fruits of my labors here! Well, peace from State College. I hope you all have a good week!


Sister Sparks 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Week 58

OKAY time is almost UP! Sorry about that! Salt Lake changed our logins or something and we couldn't get it to work until a few minutes ago! Alright, so I'm going to think hardcore about what to share. 

First off, the Church is doing an Easter initiative. They have come out with a video called Because He Lives which is similar to He is the Gift (Christmas initiative) and Because of Him which came out last Easter. I am so grateful for these powerful videos that bring the Spirit into our lessons. http://www.mormon.org/easter SHARE THIS WITH A LEAST 3 PEOPLE. Better yet, post it on Facebook or other social media websites. Email it! Whatever way you choose, share your testimony of the divinity of REALITY of the LIVING Christ! 

I will share an experience I had this week. I met a Vietnamese student at Penn State on the bus last week. We talked about religion and science. He expressed his desire to learn what "religious people had that he lacked." We taught him about the Restoration last night. I was able to bear  testimony of the reality of Joseph Smith's vision, and something really sunk deep into my heart. When Heavenly Father spoke to Joseph, He said, "Joseph, this is my Beloved Son. Hear Him." God called him by name. Heavenly Father knew Joseph. He knew he was a 14 year old boy living in New York. He knew the concern he had to find the one church that could offer him salvation through Christ. The same principle is true for us. He calls us by name. He knows our thoughts and the desires of our hearts. He understands our concerns and knows our questions. He cries when we are sorrowful and is joyful when we succeed. He is our loving Heavenly Father. 

This is such an important thing to understand. Ponder this, study this, and ask God if this is true. He will answer. I love you all!! Have a good week!


Sister Sparks

Sister Peterson and me :) LOVE HER!!!!!

I got to see the Swingholms again!!!!! 

We did service at an aviation place. It was so cool! We got to take the official tour

Doing what I do best

zone conference

reunited in the trio for a day :) love them!!

 trying to decide what to say in a roleplay. I had help

little girls attacking me at the General Women's meeting

Week 57

Hello everyone!!

This is Sister Sparks reporting on her first week BACK in State College! Basically, I love it! I've honestly not seen much of outside because we've been so sick this week :/ We've still been going out to our appointments and what not, but in between them we're loading up with medicine and sleeping. We slept for 5 hours straight one day and didn't even budge...I hope it goes away soon! We were teaching the Restoration to a boy our age, and we were saying something like, "The Book of Mormon will bring you closer to God than any other book, and we feel confident in claiming that because... *que HACKING UP A LUNG and having to leave to get a drink of water." The poor guy looked a little weirded out, but he came to church with us yesterday, so it couldn't have been too bad! 

Oh! I was a little nervous to come back to State College, so my last companions Sisters Wilde and Moss took me to Cracker Barrel to calm my nerves. Chocolate milk always does the trick. We showed up to FHE, and everyone was so surprised! It had been so fun to see everyone I was so close to! I was able to see two recent converts I taught last year all dressed up in a white shirt and tie passing the sacrament. They both have attended the temple, and one of them was even baptized for his deceased grandmother who lived in China. It has been such a special experience to see their growth. I look forward to however many weeks I get to be back here! One of our branch members won the national wrestling title (or something like that) this week. We are...PENN STATE! I'm such a poser hahaha, but I would seriously love to go to school here! 

Hmm what else is new before I have to take off....
I received a Miranda Sings tshirt in the mail two days ago which made me very happy! It says, "Haters Back Off!" with a picture of Miranda. I'm wearing it to FHE tonight! Hey, I love you all, and have a good week!!


Sister Sparks