Monday, February 29, 2016

The latest from Talara

Well, my companion is currently sitting next to me writing her LAST email home as a missionary -- so I´m glad I don´t have that kind of pressure :) 
This is going to be shorter today, hopefully the dozens of pictures compensate! 
Here are some things I learned this week: 
- Cockroaches do not die -- even if you try to drown them. (they seem to come out at night so we kill about 10 every time we get home at night)
- How to prep maiz to make tamales and peel tamarindo fruits! 
- Bolivianas can cook! -- learned that from my intercambio with Hna Mamani!
- Hna Shumway can fall asleep literally´s a gift :)
- Our skin isn´t the only thing that can burn day this week we accidentally left our bananas and avocados on top of the microwave at the window and when we came back they were BLACK, the sun was so strong that day.
- Earthquakes are totally possible here in Talara! I was sitting at my desk on Friday when all of a sudden it felt like someone was behind me shaking the chair I was in... I was like ¨Hermana Shumway we are going through an earthquake right now!!¨ Turned out to be just like 10 seconds.
- And as much as I love the dust here, I got an eye infection this week -- not fun! Luckily it went away after a couple days. But I promise I still love Peru :)

It was a great week here in Talara -- Hna Shumway and I couldn´t stand up after companionship prayer last night, we were too exhausted!
We had a cool experience at a family night with Familia Eche on Monday. We taught The Restoration then went around and had everyone list off the blessings they´ve received thanks to The Restoration of the gospel. Let me tell ya, that list is LONG. Priesthood, temples, the book of mormon, seminary, all the organizations, prophets, apostles, revelation, the hymns, doctrine and covenants, the pearl of great price, it´s literally endless. Then we talked about how their friends, family, and neighbors NEED those blessings -- it was really effective and everyone got the point. The more I´m here, the more gratitude I have for the blessings I´ve received as a member of this church, and the greater my desire to PROCLAIM/ SCREAM/ YELL this message to all who will listen. 
On my intercambio with Hna Mamani we walked the pioneer trek plus some...probably. I´m telling you, every less active, investigator, contact, and rescatado wasn´t home or couldn´t receive us. We ended up contacting and contacting and knocking on doors and more contacting. It was just about 7:00 when we had consejo de rama so we decided to hit #50 contacts and call it good -- AND THE FIFTIETH CONTACT LET US IN. Lizbeth is now reading the Book of Mormon and wants to come to church! I can testify to what President told us once: ¨Los milagros se encuentran al fondo de nuestra fe¨ 
Translation would be something like this -- Miracles are found at the end of your faith. 
As I said, we were pretty exhausted last night and it´s probably because in a single weekend we had: A multizone conference, branch noche misional, room inspections in Sullana & Talara, Leslye´s baptism, lunch with President and his wife, and 2 district conference sessions. AH! It was nuts. I honestly don´t know how we survived -- or how we´re going to survive because we haven´t done weekly planning for this week yet :) 
Anyways, life is so good and so fulfilling! My spiritual thought is from President Ras. at our multizone conference. He said: NEVER leave a house until you have invited someone to participate in an ordinance of the gospel -- (baptism for investigators, priesthood for young men who don´t have it yet, endowments for members who don´t have it yet, sealing for those who don´t have it yet, the sacrament for those who aren´t attending church, etc.)
It puts it all in perspective when we do that -- we are Heavenly Father´s instruments to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man -- and the ordinances of the gospel will get us there. 
It is SO WEIRD being companions with someone who is going home so soon! I could list off what I´ve learned from Hna Shumway but I physically can´t because there are SO MANY things!! I´m so glad to have made another best friend who inspires me to do better every day and shows me what it means to be Christ-like. I´m planning to enjoy ever second with her this week!!! Wish me luck as I find out who my new companion will be on Saturday!!
Hermana Parks
Bus ride

Peeling tamarindos

peeling tamarindos while SWEATING


Don't leave me!

Our favorite place for chalacas

Multi-zone conference

our little friend

It rained. So I took a photo.  Proof.

lunch the Rasmussens

Leslye's baptism

checking out the hermanas' room

branch selfie

the young women of the Talara branch - they are always so willing to help!

Found this photo of Hna Pulsipher (of Medford, OR when she was serving in Bolivia over a year ago) in the home of la Familia Eche

Hna Mamani whipped out a fruit salad, and garlic noodles with avocado, tomato, and lime in like 15 mins! #goals 
Also she is seriously the coolest! -- she has a farm in Bolivia and one of her favorite pastimes is milk the cows!

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