Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter friends and fam! When people asked me what our traditions are for Semana Santa (Holy week) in the USA, I told them about easter egg hunts and they looked at me like I was crazy, ha! 

There were so many random events and experiences this week, I´ll just give a play-by-play:

Tuesday we had interviews with President! They are always great opportunities of counsel and learning. President and Sister Rasmussen are my heroes! Probably not many people know, and President would never tell you, but he was at the height of his career when he accepted the call to come here -- the people at his law firm were dumbfounded when he told them he was leaving everything to come to Peru for 3 years and serve...He told me he had a friend ask him Why baptism? Why is it so important and why does baptizing people seem like the central purpose of a mission? He asked me my thoughts and we had a good conversation about the symbolic and eternal significance of baptism and the over-arching purpose of why we´re serving -- which is to be the Lord´s instruments in bringing to pass 1. the inmortality and 2. the ETERNAL LIFE of man! It was a great edifying interview -- love the Rasmussens! 

Wednesday we did service for Hna Selma! We helped her clean and organize her little kitchen and cook arroz chaufa! I hope people don´t have big expéctations when I come home, because I definitely couldn´t replicate the Peruvian cuisine´s too complicated! haha. People spend hours in their kitchens..Also microwaved food is non-existent here. From the pan to the plate. And the taste proves it! 

Thursday we had intercambios! I was with Hna Valdez from Puno, Peru -- she´s got a whole 3 weeks in the field and such a tranquila, pacient, and capable missionary. We had a lot of fun together. 

Friday was our branch´s noche misional put on by the missionaries! We did a fun get to know you activity, shared messages about Christ´s life, Atonement and Resurrection in different classrooms, then watched the Easter video and had empanadas! So far the main result of our noches misionales is strengthening the members and less actives -- we´re trying to get the members to bring their non-member friends so it can be a true missionary activity..

Saturday was the women´s conference!! Well, kind we get there at 7 with Abigail (convincing a 14 year old teenager to come to a satellite conference on a Saturday night isn´t the easiest so we were stoked!) and the proyector (how do you say that in English?) wasn´t working....everyone was just in the chapel waiting and we left to ask the district secretary what was going on...he said that the satellite signal hadn´t we were like okayyyy what do we do then?? And he said all we could do was wait...we were SO DISAPPOINTED: But we asked him to show us the room where the tech stuff is...and he showed us how it works. He said there´s a number you call when there are problems but that the line isn´t opén on saturdays or sundays....I was finding that hard to believe since conferences are on saturdays and I called the number and picked the English option and they answered! Long story short, I was on the phone with Salt Lake trying to get the problem fixed, and in the end there was a small button that was on Off instead of Satellite. oh we got to watch at least the last 45 mins of conference! Woo hoo! I loved Elder Eyring´s talk at the end about service. So that was our miracle for Saturday

We had 3 noches de hogar this week with member families. Hna Ruiz called me to repentance since I was lacking faith in the members in our branch....and I´m grateful she did because I´ll admit I was doubting. We decided it´s not very effective to get our branch on the missionary band-wagon on a large scale, so we have started working family by family to get references. We shared the Easter video, gave them the pass along cards, had them chose one person to share with, and did practices! It seemed to be really effective, now we´ll be following up to see if we get results! 

And I loved sharing the Easter video this week -- it was a chance to reflect on the Resurrection and the hope that Christ gives us -- to be with our families FOREVER through the ordinances of the gospel. I have gained a testimony that the missionary work on the ground and missionary work on the other side of the veil is the same redeeming work -- family history is so important and it´s been a joy sharing it with our investigators and menos activos. (Katy has already filled her My Family book with dates and pictures!!) 

My journal entry last night was titled ¨Stressful but worth it.¨ I´ll admit Sundays are a whirlwind and sometimes I´m the most stressed on the sabbath day...but after feeling like I was at my breaking point, we found a family of five in the afternoon who are super receptive and coming to conference this weekend! I felt so grateful and blessed. I felt that Nephi´s promise is being fulfilled that ¨the tender mercies of the Lord are over ALL those whom he hath chosen.¨ I know my Savior lives. I´m infinitely grateful to know that he conquered death & temptation & every stress and pain I´ve experienced. I´m grateful that He LIVES, and can play an active role in each one of our lives. I´m grateful that He is the great Mediator to interceder (forgot what that is in English) and allow an imperfect person like me to become perfect and clean, like Him. 

It was a good Semana Santa here in Peru.
Hermana Parks 

Zona Talara on the beach

Noche de hogar (FHE) with la familia Chira Lopez

brand-new plaza vea (basically walmart) next to cardboard houses...we thought it was quite the paradox

Noche misional sharing Easter messages

Towards the top of our area with the ocean in sight

with the wonderful familia Ortega!


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