Monday, November 2, 2015

Update from Ignacio Merino... baptism, Catacaos, getting good at using Hna Glunt's selfie stick

This week was PURE JOY....and some stress...but mostly pure joy because Ana was baptized! 
I think I´ve told some of her story before...but it´s kind of a miracle. When we first visited her she made it very clear that she wanted to maintain her religion...(her mom is so Catholic that once we were there for 45 minutes and didn´t get a single word in because her mom went off about her convictions...). After the first visit we weren´t able to contact her for a month and took that to mean she wasn´t interested. Then one day we got a call from the Elders in Angamos telling us we needed to visit her ASAP. (She had been attending church there.) We visited her and she expressed that she has always felt an emptiness in her life...and was always hesitant about the Mormon religion...but that she has felt something different since attending church. She began reading the Book of Mormon and praying...and this week she was baptized! Her testimony of the restored gospel is an incredible example to me. She says that she has never felt closer to Christ. After taking pictures outside, a few minutes before the service began, I found her in a small hallway bowed in prayer -- that was such a tender moment for me. As she walked up the stairs of the font after being baptized, she was tearful and very emotional. We hugged her and cried tears of joy alongside her! It´s difficult to describe the feelings I had that day and the day after when she was confirmed a member of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. She and her boyfriend Alberto have plans to be sealed in the temple next year and Hna Glunt and I are determined to be there in Trujillo with them! 

On Tuesday this week Argelia, investigator, called us at about 8:30 during our study to say that she needed help -- we could tell things weren´t okay. Argelia lives alone and takes care of her mother...and has no family or friends who live in Piura. We had offered to serve her a couple times but she had politely refused every time...until Tuesday. We could hear the desperation in her voice and were at her house 15 mins later. Her mom, who has severe Alzheimer´s had been folded over in her chair all night and Argelia hadn´t been able to move her. She needed some other hands to get her mom into her bed. She began to cry when she got there, telling us that she had no one to call and didn´t know what to do. We helped her and afterwards read part of 3 Nephi 11 together. She got emotional reading verse 11 which talks about Christ doing the will of his Father. She expressed that she needs to accept the will of the Father as well, as hard as it may be. It was so special to be there with her that morning and feel the LOVE our Father in Heaven has for her. She carries a heavy burden every day and does it completely alone. But she´s not alone, because the Atonement of Christ applies to her as well as each and every one of us! 

On Thursday we had planned to come again and help her with whatever she needed -- cleaning, cooking, etc -- because she lives in very humble circumstances and we wanted to serve her. Unfortunately when we got there Thursday morning she was about to leave with an aunt who was in town, so we walked away in our sport clothes trying to think of someone we could serve by surprise because our plan had fallen through.....right as we were thinking of this we pass a 74 year old woman hacking down branches off a tree with a machete. We were like ¨hey podemos ayudarle?¨ and she didn´t even hesitate giving Hna Glunt the machete, haha! So we spent an hour with our new friend Feliciana cutting down these ridiculously tall branches of her tree! That woman is incredible. She doesn´t know how to read and basically has nothing, yet she is SO sweet and dang she can work that machete! She gave us gelatin water at the end that was less than tasteful but it´s the thought that counts right? :)

La Familia Araujo´s progress fills us with SO much joy as the weeks go by! Gina came to ALL 3 hours of church on Sunday even though she risked her job. The ward has just took them under their wing and you can see how happy they are surrounded by their new friends at church. Eduardo and Arturo are already talking about missions and Gina has a ton of questions about the temple. She fed us tamales last night which were SO GOOD -- Advantages of teaching people who work in restaurants! 

Ximena´s parents don´t want her to be baptized yet but this week teaching her La Familia Proclamacion I had the impression to invite her to share it with her parents! We will see how that goes., 

CAMBIOS -- oh man, the day of was SO stressful because everyone was joking that I´d get transferred. I kind of felt like I wanted to throw up. But ALL¨S GOOD WERE STAYING TOGETHER IN IGNACIO!! So so happy. This is almost definitely my last transfer and I´m deterined to make it the best! 

Spiritual thought next week! No time, but love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!
Hermana Parks 



District selfie

Familia Araujo.  Love them so much!

Service with our new friend Feliciana

Construction in Peru

Agua de gelatin from Feliciana.  We carefully poured it back into the jug when she stepped away :)

Goodbye to Elder Mendoza

Zone leaders selfie, Elders Beidleman and Riquelme

massive selfie post baptism

Hna Huaman and her cute grandkids

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