Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 1 in 2nd area: Piura Central

So I was expecting that my first week in a new area would be a lot like starting my mission (i.e. emotionally unstable, super LONG, missing my past ¨life¨) but it was the complete opposite this week! I`m loving Piura Central and I`ve been blessed to have this fire to work hard and get to know everyone and love these people! 

In one of Bro. Minor`s letters he said that the mission is a half circle tunnel divided into 3 parts. The first 6 months you`re getting used to the tunnel and looking back at the light, comparing your life to what it was before....The 2nd 6 months you`re totally immersed in the work and loving it, and the 3rd 6 months you`re recognizing that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. This could be the most true analogy I have ever heard, haha. I hit my 6 month mark this past week -- I`ve gotten to the point where I rarely think of home and I am totally focused on and settled in to this work. I have a looong ways to go with personal weakness, but I love how the mission is helping me to become better every day! 

Alright, enough with the sappy reflection moment. 
Here`s why I`m loving Piura Central! 

- La Legua is EXACTLY what I pictured my mission to be like. We`re talking sandy kids climbing all over me, houses with dirt floors and mothers who don`t know how to read. It`s crazy. We have been spending all our mornings out there since it`s too dangerous in the evening. The first person we visited there now has a baptismal date (Hno Jefferson). The people are way more receptive over there. Seriously, La Legua has SO MUCH POTENTIAL. It`s just ginormous and a map of it doesn`t exist so we`re trying to get organized..

- Okay I thought I walked a ton in my last area but forget that because Piura Central is no joke! I had a Charlie`s Horse in my calf last night and I`m blaming it on the 2 miles we speed walked to get home on time. But I love it! Every day is a crazy adventure. 

- Our ward is SO great! We had a super successful Cena Navidena on Friday and a TON of people came! The members here are super supportive in la obra misional. 

- My list of Hna Christianson quotes in my agenda is getting pretty lengthy! She is seriously the greatest example to me and I am learning so much!! I`m also her first gringa comp so when we`ve tried to speak in English she just automatically reverts back to Spanish, haha. It`s great. 

Overall, so happy to be here and we`ve set some great goals for our area.
I almost forgot it`s Christmas this week! Christmas is WAY different here and some people don`t even celebrate it! Mostly it`s just a family dinner at midnight on Christmas Eve, but it`s been tough feeling like it`s truly the holiday season! So we`ve been making our own holiday spirit :) I`ve asked myself the question this week: Que es lo que a Cristo le quiero dar? What can I give to my Savior this Christmas? I decided that I want to give him my broken heart and contrite spirit, which, as I learned from my study this week, is humility, repentance, and obedience. 
The verse that sums up my love for missionary work is Alma 29:10:

And behod, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy. then do I remmber what the Lord has done for me, yea even that he hath heard my prayer. yea, then do I remember his merciful arm he extended towards me.

My heart is FULL for the blessings I have received in my life because Christ lives. 
I hope we can remember His love and divinity this season and always! 

Con amor, 
Hermana Parks 
To the rear is La Legua

Our investigator Jefferson with one of his drawings

Our primary Christmas program

La Legua

Las hermanas de Los Ficus!  We did a musical number for the cena navidena.  Hna Mitchell plays violin.

My missionary wall minus photo of papa which I still need to print.

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