Monday, July 20, 2015

Otra Semana en Ignacio Merino - Hna Parks hace intercambios en Sullana

Here is Christine's email today.  Mondays are exciting for the Parks family these days.  We look forward to these emails and enjoy them as much as FaceTime when she was at BYU.  Our family has been blessed by her service in Piura... we're a little more likely to see the good and spread the good because we know she is.

Hola hola familia y amigos!!

Great week here in Ignacio Merino! The scripture of the week that was kind of my mantra this week was DyC 33, verse 8. Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as nephi of old. When Prez Rowley gave me my first and last interview on day 1, he told me to be a Nephi in the mission. I love reading about Nephi in the Book of Mormon. He was faithful, diligent, and unwavering even despite some pretty hard afflictions. He did what the Lord commanded, sometimes not knowing why or not knowing how it would work out. That´s like me right now! But I KNOW that what I´m doing is true. So I keep on keeping on, just like Nephi! Our goal was to OPEN OUR MOUTHS this week. Our days consist of a lot of talking. People on the street, teaching lessons, etc. Sometimes it´s not easy to stop people on the street and talk to them but it´s really just conversations about Jesus Christ! We bear simple testimony on the daily of Jesus Christ and what he means for us. Since I´ve been here with Hna O we´ve contacted 332 people! Jimmer forever =) Cool, huh? 332 conversations about Jesus Christ and The Restoration of His gospel! Our zone has the goal to do 1200 contacts each week for 3 consecutive weeks and if we accomplish it, we get to go to Huancabamba! Apparently it´s really green, 3 hours away, etc. That will be a super fun P day! We´ve already completed 2 weeks, so one more! 

This week we had intercambios! I went to Sullana, about an hour away, for 24 hours with Hna Shill! She´s from AZ and the absolute sweetest! She´s almost done with the mission, and a total pro! I learned SO much from her. Especially about LOVING people. She didn´t start our contacts in the street with talking about US and who we are, but rather about THEM, their families, where they´re going, what Jesus Christ means to them, etc. She talked slowly, lovingly, and that´s something I´m going to apply! I tend to do everything too fast but I needed the reminder to slow down, and focus on the PEOPLE. Part of her area in Sullana is very very poor. We were walking a sparsely populated area when we came to a teeny house of a family she had contacted earlier in the week. The mom was outside washing her 1 year old in a tub with a little water. There was visibly something wrong on the Mom´s face from the moment we walked up. As we asked how she was doing, she burst into tears. She said she wished she weren´t alive, and where is God right now. She didn´t reveal all the details of what she was going through, but it was obvious that abuse was involved. She has three children. Her husband walked up during our conversation from far away, obviously drunk. We were afraid he was going to take the baby so Hna Shill picked him up while the mom yelled at her husband to leave and never come back. It was quite the experience. We held her as she cried and prayed with her. She invited us to come back another day and gave us each a fruit before we left- i forget what it´s called. I didn´t want to accept the fruit because she had nothing! But what an example to me of humility and love. I pray that she continues to listen to the missionaries! Sometimes it´s so hard seeing people struggle here financially or in their families. Ultimately, we´re here sharing a message that can increase their happiness and give them direction for their lives. It´s something they can take with them through the eternities, although it may not solve their temporal problems. 
Overall, such a great experience to learn from Hna Shill and the people of Sullana! 

 This week more than ever I felt really inadequate because of personal weakness.  Jesus Christ knows who I can become and because he´s felt all my weaknesses too, he knows exactly how to help me reach my potential! As soon as I wrote in my journal about my frustrations, prayed fervently, worked harder, and concentrated on my companion´s strengths and serving her, things got better! I´m going to study Charity this week and apply it! 

CARLOS- He is over 80 years old, the cutest little old person ever! haha. He was baptized last year, the only member in his family. He is the greatest example to me! He LOVES the sister missionaries. This week we asked him to come with us to teach a couple investigators and he was SO excited. His testimony of the gospel and willingness to serve is just so awesome. It is never too late to change your life! For Carlos, it was 80 years. He has now fully embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ and he will spend his remaining time on earth in the Lord´s work! I will make sure to get a picture with him this week or next. 

Angel y Dely- they are a family we have been teaching who are so very prepared to live the gospel of Jesus Christ! The only problem is that they aren´t married. That is the case with several families we are teaching. They believe in the principles of the gospel and are so ready to live the gospel!. We invited Dely to receive a priesthood blessing last week because she is pregnant and very, very sick every day. She received the blessing and it strengthened her faith and the faith of her husband! Such a cool experience for me to witness the power of the priesthood bless their life! 

Cultural notes!
When you walk into a house or into a room and again when you leave, you greet EVERYONE there. The people here are so warm and loving! 

They have started celebrating for their day of independence next week! Parades, flags, cute kids dressed up in uniforms, it´s pretty cool! 

I was ATTACKED by mosquitoes and spiders on Friday night. I didn´t have a single bite before then, I have no idea why Friday night was all of a sudden drink Hna parks´ blood night. I´´m gonna bathe in repellent from now on.

Love you all, have an amazing week!!
Remember to share your testimony about Jesus Christ with someone this week. Family, friend, stranger. It can be a simple conversation! 

Hermana Parks 

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