Monday, November 23, 2015

Ignacio Merino week 21 - Hermana Parks sees clouds in the sky!

Being a missionary is kind of the coolest thing ever. We get to watch Heavenly Father work MIRACLES through us, and it is the coolest. 
¨Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes?¨
 - Mormon 9: 16

Here are just a few of the miracles we experienced this week! 

- We were walking to an appt on Tuesday and I was pretty stressed over some logistical missionary things -- I don´t remember exactly what. We passed a family sitting outside but I was so wrapped up in myself that by the time I heard them say Buenas tardes, we were already almost past the house. Immediately I knew that we should have stopped and started criticizing myself thinking ¨ Well Hermana Parks, you just deprived a family of the opportunity to hear the gospel.¨ As we got to the street corner we heard voices behind us yelling ¨Senoritas! Les llama!¨ We turned around and a couple kids were running down the street waving at us. We turned around and walked back to where they were. The mom and her sister started asking us questions about who we were, about our message, etc. We scheduled an appointment to visit them on Friday, and after visiting them Friday we love them so much! Deisy, Maria, and their combined 6 kids as well as 2 nephews both age 19. They weren´t able to make it to church because all the kids had school stuff (Peru is about to head into vacations and they currently have school on weekends) but they´re coming next week! So LESSON LEARNED that day: Even when we don´t follow the impressions of the Spirit, those prepared to receive the gospel do, even if they have to send their kids running down the street after us :) 

- I got the impression this week that I needed to make my prayers more specific. I was talking about it with Hna Glunt one day and she said she´s been getting the same impression. This was solidified when we were talking to an RM from our ward who served in Chile and he randomly gave us the advice to pray specifically. So we decided to do it. We prayed that we would have 7 investigators at church. Seven. No less. We followed through with our plans to make calls, pick people up, teach the importance of the Sabbath Day, and get members involved throughout the week. On Sunday when the meeting started we only had three and were pretty disappointed to say the least. Then after the opening prayer Gina walked in with her family. We were still pretty down until third hour when la familia Valdiviezo Calle showed up! We started counting who had been at church and we had SEVEN investigators at church!! Lesson learned: we need to pray even more specifically so that they can all be there for 3 hours :) I am so grateful for the ability to communicate with my Heavenly Father and not only pray for things I need personally, but also for the people he has sent me to serve. 

On Sunday we found out that the lady that does our laundry had we were thinking of who else we could ask to take her place because we aren´t about to go down to the river and do it ourselves, haha. (jokes, there is no body of water near here) We ate lunch at a member´s home, Estela, for the first time and found out that she´s a single mother of 3 kids and is looking for more work. Heavenly Father is so aware of his children in need! Estela will be doing our laundry from now on :) 

On Thursday while looking for a contact we found ourselves in an area where we had never been before. It´s like this mini neighborhood that was suuuper poor. Cardboard houses, kids rolling around in the sand, dogs eating fish heads off the ground, the whole jist. We were super stoked to start contacting there, but 

Elder Ayala on his birthday (eggs on head, Peruvian tradition)

kids with baby chicken

mosquito killing device?? (no explanation from la hermana on this one)

sunset in Piura
decided we better make sure it´s our area (there has always been a little confusion as to the boundaries of our area). After a few phone calls we realized it´s not....and neither is Los Sauces....or 28 de julio. We were super bummed by this news because those are areas where we´ve been teaching!!! But then we realized that actually, this is an answer to our prayer. We have too many people to teach and not enough time to help all of them progress and WA-LA! Our area just got smaller. Miracles, people.

On Sunday we were waiting outside the chapel with the Elders and a bunch of leaders from consejo waiting for the bishop to get there with the keys....when he texted us and said there wasn´t going to be consejo. Great. But our leaders are fantastic and were like älright. elderes y hermanas. Who are we gonna visit? We went to a few houses with Hno David and Hno Henry but no one was home. Finally we thought of Cristela ( a menos activa who wasn´t progressing so we hadn´t visited her in a long time). We stopped by and at the end she was in tears thanking us for coming at the exact moment when she needed it. (family problems). That was not a coincidence and we are so grateful for the Spirit! (and shoutout to the bishop for cancelling consejo, haha)

- Italo made us smoothies this week. Like real, legit smoothies. Hna Glunt and I were HUGE smoothie drinkers before the mission but hadn´t had one in 5 months. IT WAS THE BEST. Natural yogurt, these dried fig things, seeds, organic honey, soy milk. Italo is our favorite. I´m counting this event as one of the week´s miracles :) 

- THE WEATHER HAS BEEN SO WEIRDLY COOL. Clouds came out at least like 3 times this week and we were so. happy. It was a great tender mercy to not be sweating buckets for a couple afternoons! Also the mosquitoes almost completely disappeared!! My legs are counting their blessings as they heal from last week´s attacks :)

We had intercambios on Tuesday and I went to Paita for the day! Every single appointment fell through and we were singing the pioneer children song as we walked a thousand miles AND we didn´t have water when we woke up in the morning, BUT it was such a great intercambio! I was with Hna Celis from Santiago Chile and this is her last transfer in the field! She taught me so much by her example and I have some new goals of things I want to emulate from her example. 

Update on the person I live with 24-7: She is the best. I love Hermana Glunt so stinkin much and we are trying not think about cambios here in a couple weeks! Sometimes as we´re walking we pick cheesy hymns in Spanish to sing that match the pace of how we´re walking...I don´t know if that makes sense, haha. This week it was numero 80 Secreta Oracion. Everyday. We came up with some great harmonization and canons and ended up laughing every single time. During a lesson with la familia Araujo we picked it for the opening hymn. (worst idea ever). I started laughing softly at about the 2nd line down and then Hna Glunt lost it too. We spent the rest of the song trying to pull ourselves together. Oh man, it was WAY embarrassing but la fam Araujo are basically our family so they know we´re crazy :) 

My relationship with my Savior was strengthened so much this week. Boris is a serious one-of-a-kind investigator and let me tell ya, a piece of work. But we are being patient, and we know he has a sincere desire to learn, even if he has a lot of doubts. He´s come to church twice now. His problem this week was his lack of faith in jesus Christ. I have never taught anyone in Peru who didn´t believe in Jesus Christ and I had never studied the divinity and reality of Christ himself until this week. And I am SO GRATEFUL for that experience! I know that Jesus Christ lived and walked here on the earth. I know that he died for me, but most of all I know that He lives. He is my Redeemer and Friend and he is real. 

Overall, a week full of miracles and my heart is so full! 
I am grateful for so many things but especially for this opportunity to be a missionary. It is the best decision I´ve made in my life up to this point. 

Love you all!
Hermana Parks

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