Monday, November 9, 2015

Ignacio Merino week 19 - including survival strategies for the (near) equatorial sun during "spring".

New transfer, new district, new month, and it´s MANGO season in Piura so we are happy campers! 

Hna Glunt and I are loving our area and loving this work -- we have adopted Elder Paredes´ daily ritual of shouting ¨Vamos a bautiZAR!¨ randomly throughout the day .. keeps us pumped! 

We have also figured out some survival strategies for serving a mission in Piura: 

- High ponytails. All day, every day. Having my hair down is the worst thing ever walking in this heat. In almost every lesson our investigators comment on how sweaty we are, it´s the Piura life! 

- Bodoques. We discovered these this week...they´re like these flavored slushie things in little plastic bags that you buy and then eat by biting off the plastic. We buy em´ for 60 centimos which is like less than 20 cents while we´re out walking. Coconut flavor is the best. 

- Sunscreen 2x/day. The sun is actually even stronger in the mornings when we´re out between 10 and 1. 

- And of course, tons of water! I think I´ve drank more water here in the field than the first 19 years of my life haha. 

So hermano Italo invited us over for lunch on Tuesday and gave us plato tipico de la cierra! papas, trigo instead of rice (hallelujah), cucumber, pollo, and papaya with organic honey. It was so fun. It´s cool to see Italo´s faith growing line by line, precept by precept. He still thinks he has a long way to go but I know that as he continues to read and pray and go to church he´ll be ready for his baptismal date on the 28th! He was taking notes during the sacrament meeting talks and clase de principios... so pilas. 

MIRACLES this week:
- Internet cafe was full last Monday so we contacted for 15 mins and talked to a lady walking off the bus. She told us that we could visit her son. Stopped by the next day, and turns out he knows Dangelle Gomez from el colegio! We were like ¨hey do you have plans in 20 minutes?¨ And he came with us to the noche de hogar that we had already planned with las familias Gomez and Araujo! We watched Meet the Mormons and Boris seemed to like it, as well as the Araujo´s cousin who they brought (non member). Boris is super focused on worldy things and straight up told us that his goal in life is to make a ton of money. Despite his ¨lack of interest¨ in religion, he came to church!  The Lord truly puts us in the right places at the right times to fulfill his work. I´m so grateful for the opportunity to be an instrument in His hands. We will continue to pray for Boris and help him progress! 

- Nina is an investigator we´ve been teaching for a little while now. She is very receptive (missionaries visited her several years ago and her husband recently passed away) but she expressed this week that she feels she hasn´t received her answer yet. We shared part of Alma 32 with her. I could feel and physically see the Spirit witness to her as we read that passage. It was such a cool experience and I LOVE the teachings in Alma 32 about our faith as seeds that swell and grow gradually as we nourish them. 

- Eliana: we haven´t been able to teach her hardly at all for a few weeks because of her schedule but she has come to church twice these past 2 Sundays. Initially it seemed that she had quite a few doubts, but then as we walked her home yesterday she told us ¨Quiero ser Mormona!¨  WHAT. We were so happy!! She is the sweetest. 

This week I ponderized Helaman 5:12. Ï have loved this scripture for a long, long time! It was the girls camp theme 2 years ago, it was one of my favorite scripture masteries Senior year, and I love it´s relation to How Firm a Foundation which I´ve been humming literally since I left on the plane for my mission. 
This week I asked myself the question: What can I do right now to more fully build my foundation on Christ?¨ And the answer immediately came to my mind: repent. I am so grateful for that piece of personal revelation. As missionaries we teach about repentance all. the. time. That is our calling, to declare repentance to all nations. But I often do repent? I am so very far from perfect, and I make mistakes on the daily. I need repentance just as much as any of our investigators or less actives or recent converts. I love what PMG says about repentance: 
¨As we learn more about what the Savior expects of us, we will want to show our love by obeying him. Thus, as we repent daily, we will find that our lives will change and improve. Our hearts and our behavior will become more Christlike. We will come to feel great joy in repenting daily.¨ 

This is my new personal goal! Repent daily. 

Today we´re heading to the mission house to make cookies with Hna Rasmussen! 
Les quiero mucho y espero que todos tengan una buena semana! 
Hermana Parks 

Note from dad here:
Tracey and I were in Portland a few weeks ago so we decided to try Las Primas, a local Peruvian street food cafe in North Portland.  Because Christine talks about Inca Kola, we brought some home for everyone to try... it's a bubble gum + cream soda blend as far as I can tell.  Not a huge fan of the soda but we loved el lomo saltado and las empanadas.  Check out Las Primas if you're in Portland (if you can't get a reservation at La Andina, which has been the case every time I've been there).  
No photos this week.

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