He asked if I had a minute to talk and then said ´Sister Parks, I have a challenge for you, are you up for it?´ I said yes, and he proceeded to announce my fate...
´This transfer you´re going to stay in your area and finish training an hermana who has one transfer in the field.´
(in my head) SAY WHAT.
So here we are! Hermana Glunt and I, two gringas with just a couple of months in the field, winging it in Ignacio Merino! Haha but really, she is FANTASTIC. I already love her so much. She is so determined to learn Spanish and speak it all the time, even though it´s going to be tempting to speak English. She´s from Washington, north of Seattle, but has been living in Hawaii for a while so that´ll work out great for me when I go visit her after the mission :) She´s 23 and was born in the church but less active her whole life until about a year ago, her story is super cool. She´s super outgoing, loves yoga, was vegan before the mission, and is so ready to be exactly obedient and work super hard! We´ve only spent a few hours together thus far but I can already tell we are going to be best friends and work super well together!
So yeah, everything has been a blur since Saturday, haha! Nonetheless, I will try to remember what happened this week...
We visited Ana Troncosand taught the Plan of Salvation. She is around 30 years old, has a super high position in a business here in Piura (super sophisticated if that´s the right word but also suuuper nice!) and she´s also a reference from the Elders in Angamos. Her boyfriend started investigating the church a month or two ago and was baptized a couple weeks ago. She had attended church with him 3 times in Angamos while he was investigating so about a month ago the elders told us they had a GOLDEN reference. We visited her the same week and she was very sweet and willing to learn but also made it clear that she wants to maintain her religion, and mentioned that her daughter (10) is attending Catequesis (probably butchered the spelling on that) classes in her catholic school. So anyways, we left a little bummed that it wasn´t as golden of a reference as we´d hoped. We had difficulty getting into contact with her for the next month and took that to mean she wasn´t interested. But then last week the Elders called us and told us to call her because her boyfriend had told them she had changed! So we called and she wanted us to come over! She went to stake conference and said the messages really touched her and that her perspective of our church and our doctrine have completely changed. She expressed to us that she´s always felt this emptiness that her church and her family hasn´t been able to fill. She said that when we walk in the room we just ´fill it up´and she wants to continue feeling that even when we leave. We watched the restoration video, taught the BoM, and when we came back she had read the chapter we left, prayed, had questions, and felt the Spirit! We taught the plan of salvation and answered a lot of the questions she has had for a long time. we had to do divisions because ward council was also so i went to council and didn´t get to teach Ana but Hna O said that they invited her to baptized and she accepted and is going to pray for a baptismal date in October! (She has some important training courses for her job that fall every so she´s going to work out her schedule and pick a date) We just love her!!
Other significant events:
Knocking on doors this week we found a golden family who are so receptive and excited to learn about the gospel! Ana Maria and her son Matias. (also her cutest 10 month old). When we taught the restoration and afterwards taught about how we can know for ourselves that these things are true she said ´oh okay so when we pray and ask God to know if it´s true we´re probably not going to have a grand vision or something but we´re going to feel peace and if our life is changing in positive ways as we live the principles, we´ll know it´s true!´
THAT MOMENT WHEN THE INVESTIGATOR SAYS IT BETTER THAN YOU CAN.
Haha, it was perfect. We´re excited to continue teaching them!
We had a family nighthosted by la familia Velasquez and watched Meet the Mormons! 2 of our investigators came (Ricardo and Ximena) and we got 2 references of extended family members of the Velasquez who came and really enjoyed the movie! Golden. Our mission has set the goal for each companionship to use meet the mormons once per transfer as a tool to find new investigators! I think it´s going to be fantastic. Plus who doesn´t love watching movies? Not that I miss technology or anything :)
Other than that, I honestly don´t remember details of this week, haha! Hna O and I worked hard for our last week together! She was transferred to Paita to be an hermana lider! She will do SO great. I am forever grateful for her example, PATIENCE with me :), her ability to teach powerfully by the Spirit, and her love for this work and her Savior Jesus Christ. She is amazing.
During my training I´ve learned to be exactly obedient, take advantage of every opportunity to share the gospel, study diligently and focus on the needs of those we teach, and be positive and patient in all things!
I´ve also learned that the most popular phrases in Peru are ´lo que pasa es que...´, esta que duerme (or ESTA QUE everything...instead of saying esta durmiendo or esta comiendo), and AZU for saying something is cool or crazy.
I´ve also learned to sleep with a ton of noise (late night rowdy soccer games at the field near our apartment and the megaphone of the tamale car at)
I´ve learned that if it´s between electricity and water, we choose water because at least you can shower...But then again, electricity means no fan..so it´s a bummer either way haha.
So that´s a wrap of my training! I still have so much to learn and so far to go, but I feel like I´ve gotten to know myself better each day as I work through my personal weaknesses and rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ to represent him as a missionary in Piura. I know that this gospel is true. I know it because I´ve lived it. I am so grateful for this opportunity to continue growing and learning in the best work there is!
Love you all and thank you for your prayers!