Monday, October 26, 2015

Bananas and cooked carrots?

I was exhausted pretty much every night this week when we got back to our apartment; but it was that awesomely satisfying feeling when you know that you did all you could that day and the Lord is pleased with your efforts! On Monday last week we had a zone meeting disguised as a taco party because our zone leaders are tricky like that, haha. We set some super ambitious goals for contacting, nuevos investigadores, and lessons taught! Elder Riquelme should probably be a motivational speaker post-mission because we left that meeting SO PUMPED to work harder than ever this week. And we did! Hna Glunt and I -- and I should say, the members in Ignacio -- KILLED IT with lessons with members present. Hna Glunt and I were in trios all the time this week and even did divisions. Our ward is so fantastic. 

This week I learned that mindset is everything. I ponderized Moroni 7: 45, 47 on Charity and Hna Glunt and I decided we were going to increase our FAITH in this work; whether it¨s praying with an investigator for a miracle to happen in a difficult situation they¨re experiencing, or while knocking on doors looking for new, prepared investigators. As I concentrated my thoughts on charity and faith, each day FLEW by. Frustration --> Service = LOVE.

The people we are teaching here are all SO unique and wonderful. Here are some spotlights:
Alright so we were sitting in a lesson with MaryCarmen. We found her tocando puertas and this was her second lesson. I had forgotten what she does for work and so I asked her again and she said ¨manualidades¨... didn´t know what that meant so I asked what it was and she goes to another room and brings back this intricate elephant made out of BANANA LEAVES. So now I know what manualidades is!! Haha, no seriously it´s incredible. She makes house decor from the roots of trees, animals and notebooks from banana leaves, and she paints these AMAZING paintings that could be sold for a fortune in the US. Our jaws were dropping. We´re going to her house on one of these Pdays to make nativities out of banana leaves! So rad. Also, we discovered that MaryCarmen might actually be a of 40 years ago in Sullana...She attended church as a little girl and faintly remembers going to a river one day...for a baptism?? Haha, we´re going to find that out sowe know if we´re teaching an investigator or less active!

This week we were praying to be able to find German, a recent convert in our area. A few weeks ago he dropped off the face of the earth and his phone wasn´¨t working so there was basically nothing we could do...he needs a LOT of support because of his tough family and financial situation, and Word of Wisdom problems. We brought it up in consejo de barrio Thursday night, then went to walk out of the chapel AND GERMAN WAS STANDING RIGHT THERE IN THE DOORWAY. It was a complete miracle and we felt so much joy seeing him!!! Heavenly Father truly loves ALL of his children and it is so cool to be a part of finding his lost sheep! 

When we met with Italo this week (2nd lesson) he said he hadn¨t read much from the Book of we asked what chapter he was on...and he said 1 NEPHI SEVENTEEN. And he¨s almost done reading the book they gave him in Elders Quorum,...Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. So we´re thinking he´ll be baptized pretty soon here. We have the faith that he can gain a testimony of la Palabra de Sabiduria! He loves sharing his organic cheeses and breads from la cierra. 

Gina: This week she asked her employers for Sunday mornings off and they threatened to fire her. She was quite distressed telling us this on Friday. We went back on Sunday and shared scriptures in 1 Nephi of when the Lord prepared the way for Nephi to keep the commandments. We testified that we didn´t know HOW it was going to work out but that it WILL work out if she puts her trust in God. We taught about the power of the fast and she and her family committed to pray and fast with us this week. At the end of the lesson, she said ¨Ïm going to church this Sunday , regardless of the outcome.¨ She has SUCH great faith! Eduardo and Arturo came with us to the area conference on Sunday too. Elder Andersen spoke (broadcast) and it was super good! Elder A knows like 5 languages and isn´t perfect with spanish but he did a great job! 

Note from dad... this is Elder Riquelme.  I've sent a query to the Riquelme family of Lujan, Mendoza, Argentina to see if he is any relation to them.  My dad Cris Parks baptized a familia Riquelme in 1966 in Lujan.  I remember visiting one of the grown daughters of this family in Brea, CA when I was a teen.

Recent convert Victor

We found a new family this week that we´re pretty excited about. La Familia Valdiviezo Calle...yeah I had to ask them how to spell that! 

HAVE I MENTIONED OUR WARD IS THE BEST. We have no problem getting members with us at multiple a day. When we call half of them they always say ¨Hermanitas! How are you? How can I serve you?¨ 
Also the bishop pulled us aside on Thursday night at ward council and asked us if we were okay becasue he had a dream that we were in thoughtful is that? We assured him we´re good :) We did divisions yesterday because we had a lesson at 6 so I taught with Hna Miriam and Hna Glunt went out to knock on doors with Lesley, an RM who served in Mexico and she´s the sweetest! 

Some Randoms:
- Hna G and I discovered a fav breakfast dish this week-- bananas with cooked carrots. Like together. It´s seriously really good! The carrots are outrageously good here. 
- I wanted to take a cheese grater to my arms this week after getting attacked by mosquitoes one night. But all´s good because we´re buying more repellent this week.
- Dust storms are real here. Sometimes we leave after lunch, get back at 9pm, and our desk seriously has an inch of dust on it. AND WE LIVE ON THE 4TH FLOOR. I don´t know how it´s possible...but we are just kinda constantly dirty! 

And that´s all for this week! Recipe for going to bed happy and exhausted every night is: Put on a smile, get to work, pray for charity, and have FAITH in miracles. The mission life isn´t perfect but I´ve found that when I do those 4 things, I find the reasons we have to rejoice in this work, and there are SO MANY! 

Thanks for the emails and prayers! 
Hermana Parks 

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