Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Update from Talara

There´s definitely never a dull moment over here in Talara! This week it was the 7 plagues... but Hna Ruiz and I have had a lot of laughs out of the recent events...Not just us but ALL of Talara went through a plague of the flies this week. They were EVERYWHERE. I don´t know if there´s a single reason why...maybe the heat or the rain last week, or someone had a theory connected with the fishing industry, anyways, it was nuts. The fruit in the market was nearly black from flies swarming around. So nasty! 
And this morning we had a cockroach massacre -- we found their little kingdom in this small drawer of a table we have and spent the morning getting rid of them! There´s a 4 year old boy who lives next door and I think this morning was the best day of his life as he got to watch us take the table out of the room,open the drawer, and kill about 50 huge ones that crawled out. haha. 

So this week again we didn´t have water....I had an intercambio with Hna Ortiz on Tuesday (she´s super sweet - from Lima!) and during a lesson the owner of our house called us and said that water was leaking through the ceiling of the 2nd floor....OH NO. We ran home and sure enough -- our room was flooded! So the water had come on but our sink has problems with the water going down so it ended up flooding! Never a dull moment :) Hna Liliana is seriously an angel, she helped us take out the water and clean up the mess for about an hour -- honestly she is one of the most christ-like people I know! Always accompanying us and helping us out. she´s a convert of a year! 

This week I was in my journal about HOW GRATEFUL I am for the wonderful people here. There are too many to name but here are a few spotlights-- Hna Juana is about 55 years old but treks up the hill with us to visit investigators and then invited us over for papaya juice! Hna Selma makes chifles to support her niece´s college education and invented the machine to make them all by herself! She takes 3 small grandkids to church by herself every week since Maggi (investigator) hasn´t been able to get Sundays off yet. Such a great example to me of love and sacrifice. Then there´s Hna Rebeca who was baptized last year and cooked for ALL 6 of us missionaries plus her whole family yesterday...her husband is a fisherman and I know she doesn´t have a lot but she´s always willing to make the trip over to our area to accompany us! 
The members here are teaching me so much! 

But as far as our branch goes...little Talara is struggling a bit. It´s hard to ask the leaders to support us in la obra misional when there´s already dishonesty and gossip happening, and bad feelings between members. But we carry on without a branch mission leader and like Alma 4 says, there´s nothing better to help them than giving testimony and continuing on - just as Alma did! 

Katy and her family are doing well -- except her husband. This is the second week in a row that he hasn´t let Katy and her sons go to church ... we are praying really hard for them and trying to encourage katy to move forward with faith. I´m confident she would have a baptismal date right now if it wasn´t for him..

Eda and Joel came to church!! It´s cool to see how the Lord has prepared them to accept the gospel....Eda has a sister in Lima who´s a member and she´s been asking her questions, Joel has listened to the Elders in Talara Alta, and it brought me so much joy seeing them walk into church with their Books of Mormon in hand! Yay for progressing investigators! 

Our investigators with bap. dates didn´t make it to church, but we´re going to do everything possible to help them attend this week! 

This week I learned a lot about finding the un-planned opportunities to serve and teach. The Lord has entrusted us with this area in Villa Talara - and that includes EVERY soul, not just members and investigators! So we´ve been trying to listen to the Spirit as we walk instead of rushing to appointments so that we can recognize those un-planned opportunities! 

Though cockroaches and flies and floods may arise, the work moves forward!! Love my life here in Talara.
Hermana Parks

The market where we shop on Pdays

A typical mototaxi

Bus ride!

Hna Ortiz!

A rare patch of green

Branch council by phone light

How Hipster is Hna Ortiz with the instacam?

District meeting with cake for St. Patrick's day
Don't leave the house without the essentials

Beautiful sunsets

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