First off, P-days in Talara are officially the best in the whole mission! Today we hit up Punto Balcones, a beach that happens to be the point FURTHEST WEST in all of South America! It was beautiful & wonderful, as are all the beaches here :)
This week was a week of miracles!! Not having water for 5 days can´t stop us! (We showered in the other hermanas´ room) we found 3 part-member families in the little bit of proselyting time we had! Here´s the scoop on each:
Hna Ruiz had forgotten to drop off some of her dirty laundry so we went back to Hna Gisela´s house to drop it off and asked Hna Gisela if she has any friends or neighbors that we can visit....she mentioned that her neighbor was a less active but (in a whisper) told us that she doesn´t receive missionaries. We tried anyways, and it turns out that Paola left the church a couple years ago but has since recognized that she´s missing something and wants her children to have the gospel in their lives! We´re teaching Elisabeth (14), Gerson (11) and her other son age 9. We hope to rescue Hna Paola and help her kids to have their own testimonies of the gospel.
Another is Abigail (14) who´s mom is less active but she has started to come to church with her grandma! She told us that she´s gone to several churches but she notices that it´s different in our meetings and she feels most comfortable there. With the new youth we´re teaching, I´ve realized the HUGE importance of our youth...it is a critical time in our lives when our small seeds of testimony need to be nourished! It´s cool to be a part of helping these youth build their foundation--through the simple things like helping them read, pray, go to church, and keep the commandments! Alma 37:35.
And lastly, Maggi! She is about 35 years old, 3 kids, and the niece of a member (Hna Selma) who we found a couple weeks ago when I felt prompted to knock on Hna Selma´s door. She has a challenge on her hands with going to church because of her job but we´ve talked a lot about faith and she is going to ask her boss for Sundays off. She is super sincere & has a genuine desire to feel the truthfulness of the gospel, I love teaching her!
Those were just a few of the miracles we saw this week. Hna Ruiz and I put a goal to ask for more references, so last night as we were knocking on doors an older woman flat out rejected us so we asked her if she knew anyone that we could teach and she said that she thought her neighbor 2 doors up the street was a member....so we went, and met Mirtha, who´s a member (inactive) but didn´t want to receive us, so we asked her for references. -- and she gave us the name of a friend down the street -- so we went, and met Eda, non member. Eda told us that she´s been trying to find the missionaries because they were teaching her a couple months ago up in Talara Alta and she´s been to church before! WHAT. We have an appt with her today :) If we follow the Spirit, the Lord guides us to who we need to visit!
Other highlights this week:
Leadership council in Piura! The negative of leadership council would be waking up at , but the positive is that it´s always a super edifying experience! This transfer´s council was focused on how to help our investigators attend church and understand the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy... , Hna Ruiz and I taught on this subject for zone meeting and then I was asked to give a talk in sacrament and did the same topic because our branch really needs it. MY testimony of the Sabbath Day was strengthened so much while preparing to teach about it -- I realized that I personally need to change as well by focusing more on the meetings during church, preparing before church to take the sacrament even if it´s a stressful morning, and keeping a spirit of reverence throughout the day. It really is a sacred day, and the promise that we will keep ourselves UNSPOTTED from the world if we keep it sacred, is real! I know it.
And Hna Ruiz is the greatest! She loves to cook & we had a fun moment this week making papaya juice and talking Disney movies. Before the mission, I don´t think I envisioned making a lifelong friendship with a Latina from another country, but I learned that we have more in common than I think! She´s super hard working and walks fast, so our companionship is doing great :)
Like I said, we didn´t have water for 5 days but we had tender mercies all over the place so it made up for it :)
A couple proselyting photos
Climbing up the hill to drop off our laundry