Monday, January 25, 2016

Piura Central to Talara: an hermana's journey of happy/sad

Let´s just say that Hna C and I were 120% confident that we´d be together for at least one more transfer, if not until she ends her mission in April. Saturday we had completely forgotten that transfer calls were happening that night. We had Jefferson´s baptism that evening (which turned out to be perfect!). It was a stake baptismal service so while the converts were changing, Hna C and I were leading the congregation singing hymns. After singing a few, I turned to hymn 175 Ä donde me mandes, ire (I´ll go where you want me to go). I don´t know, I just really felt the Spirit while playing it and when we sat back down for the convert testimonies, I decided to read the lyrics. Here´s a line that stood out to me (more in Spanish, but here it is in English :) 

¨So trusting my all to thy tender care, and knowing thou lovest me, I´ll do thy will with a heart sincere: I´ll be what you want me to be. I´ll go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or plain or sea. I´ll say what you want me to say dear Lord, I´ll be what you want me to be.¨ 

Literally Heavenly Father couldn´t have made it more clear. 
Predictably enough, President (who attended the baptism) personally told us our transfers afterwards...and...

I¨M IN TALARA!!! It´s 2 hours north of Piura and ON the ocean. I´m feeling an ocean breeze right here in this internet cafe! The church is smaller here and we´re in a branch, but Hna Shumway said it´s an awesome awesome area. 
Speaking of which, I´m with HERMANA SHUMWAY! Like the Hna Shumway who I was reading her blog for 5 months before the mission! Such a small world, haha. She is for sure one of the best missionaries in the mission so I am so happy! 

...But also like my heart has been broken in a million pieces.  I can´t say HOW MUCH I loved Piura Central. We visited la familia Valles for the last time last night and as we walked back on the sandy road leaving La Legua, I totally started crying. I have never felt so much LOVE in my life as I did when we walked up Jefferson´s street almost daily and his little siblings and cousins would run barefoot yelling ¨Hermanas!!¨ and come hug our skirts and kiss our cheeks. After finding Jefferson on day 1, I got to watch the Lord guide us as we found Angeles, Ximena, Martha, and Cinthia -- all from his neighbors or extended family. 
I got to see Hno Henry, recent convert, go to the temple for the first time and do the work for his family. 
I got to watch la familia Sosa Campos start to learn about the gospel and read the Book of Mormon.
I got to watch less actives come back to church and ward members get excited about missionary work..and most of all, I got to watch MYSELF change a ton.

And most of that change is honestly because of my companion.
Hermana Christianson is the greatest blessing of my mission thus far! She taught me how to be more charitable, unselfish, seek the companionship of the Spirit every hour of the day, LAUGH uncontrollably (this week it was when we remembered that NFL video about the crazy names of players...and couldn´t even pray to close companionship study because we were laughing so hard), and enjoy every part of my missionary work! I LOVE HER SO MUCH! It was so hard to leave this morning.....but it´s all good because we are planning to room together Winter 2017! 

And I know that I just got an equally amazing companion -- seriously I don´t know how I´m getting so lucky on my mission with these companions -- they are teaching me how to become more like my Savior Jesus Christ which is my main goal here. 

Other events this week --
- Intercambios with the hermanas in Sechura, I was with Hna Carrera from Trujillo!

- Worldwide missionary conference which was so so cool! I learned a ton and we´re starting to apply what we learned! A phrase I loved was ¨We find when we teach, we teach when we find, and we open our mouths to everyone.¨ Finding, teaching, baptizing, retaining, and rescuing are not separate jobs as a missionary -- it´s all one and it´s important to keep that perspective!

Oh man, overall a super emotional weekend but my heart is so full of love and gratitude for Piura Central and Hna Christianson, as well as my new area here in Talara with Hna Shumway!! 

I´ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, and I´ll be what you want me to be.

Hermana Parks
El Obispo and his family

Los Pacheco

I´ll never forget being in those crambed combis and saying ¨baja la rumba!¨ then getting off and walking through the sand to appts! Ahhhh la legua has my heart

Jefferson, Ximena, Martha, Cinthia, and all the little ones!! My favorite memory of Piura Central is their family! (some not pictured)

Miriam our pensionista and her sweet family! (investigators!!!)

Los Rasmussen at the baptism last Saturday

Angeles!! We could´t find her for the past couple weeks because she was living with an aunt but we miraculously ran into her yesterday!!!!!! Such a sweetheart and hopefully she will still be baptized

Love running into my sweet ¨mom¨ Hna Orellana!! She´s rocking it in Paita as a sister leader!

Hna Ortiz and Hna Carrera! After intercambios together

Yulisa and Natalia Pacheco!
Sweet Hna Howell!

Familia Chizan! love them so much!

When we got separated I proclaimed that I hate being a missionary....SO SO SAD!! Probably won´t see here before she leaves!!

The things you see on the street in Peru.  Yes, squirrel on his head.


Man, I'm going to miss this place

Bus ride to sechura (intercambios con la Hna Carrera)

Poetry on the walls

for sure one of my favorite people ever! Hno Henry, recent convert

Jefferson's baptism
Hno Bravo and his wife! Assistant to the ward mission leader but since the ward mission leader is in Lima...basically the ward mission leader. haha

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