Monday, April 11, 2016

An unlucky day for Joel on the beach

Oh man, not our best P day....we invited our investigator Joel (25) to come with us to the beach with our zone today. We had a lot of fun playing sand soccer for a couple hours -- Joel had worn his swim suit so he jumped in at the end -- and came back with a bloody foot! A stingray had gotten him pretty bad. We helped him limp back to the string of houses on the coastline. A 15 year old beach boy came out of his house and had Joel sit down then SUCKED THE VENOM out of his foot -- actually I don´t know if that´s a myth or not with getting the venom out, but he was sucking and spitting out the blood while Joel bit onto a shirt in extreme pain. Literally so crazy. AHHH poor Joel!! He doesn´t have a lot of friends and was really excited to come with us, and then that happened. But I´m sure we can relate this experience to some gospel principle in our next lesson :) 

Speaking of Eda y Joel, they are progressing SO WELL! Joel told us earlier in the week that he´d like us to teach them every day if we can. They are reading, praying, and we´ve challenged them to pray about a baptismal date. I read in Alma 34:30 this week that says we should come forth and bring FRUIT unto repentance...I was thinking about that a lot. Repentance is manifested through righteous actions over a period of time. It´s easy to see that Eda and Joel are bringing forth that fruit -- not necessarily transforming their lifestyle, but incorporating faith-building habits that are blessing them spiritually and temporally. 

Sooooo we didn´t have church yesterday. Like the 101 stakes in Peru and I´m sure a few hundred chapels didn´t hold meetings per the law! It´s the first time I´ve actually experienced Article of Faith 12 -- There were elections in Peru and apparently you can´t hold any religious gatherings. Such a bummer! But by chance I was reading in Alma 33 this week and verse 2 says that it doesn´t matter if we don´t have a place to worship - we should study the scrips! So that´s what we did considering we had to be in our room at 4pm. FOUR pm!! We did our weekly planning and studied. Super weird! (President wanted us in early because it gets dangerous once the voting results come out)

Oh man, my time is running out -- really quickly, we experienced a MAJOR miracle with Katy this week! She had been suffering from severe pain in her head for days -- nausea, vomiting, couldn´t do anything basically. Presidente Alguilar and his son came to give her a blessing. 
Katy was emotional during and after the blessing and said she felt overwhelming relief. But the biggest miracle of this whole story is that HER HUSBAND WAS PRESENT. This is the first time in my 2 months teaching Katy that her husband has sat down with us in the same room. I couldn´t believe my eyes. Then on Sunday we came back to teach them and HE JOINED US!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a lesson on faith and The Book of Mormon and challenged him to begin reading. Hna Ruiz and I walked out of the house and were so. shocked. We had been fasting that day over Katy and her family -- and then that miracle happened!! Ahhhh, we are so happy!! Katy told us this week that she has no doubt in her heart that this is the only true church. We challenged her to pray about May 7th as a baptismal date and we´ll be verifying how that went. She and her family are so special to us -- it´s been a long road -- a few weeks ago her husband wouldn´t let her go to church. Now he´s witnessed her receive a blessing by the power of the priesthood (and the power was honestly tangible in that room), has started listening to us, and is down to go to church. MIRACLES ARE SO REAL in this work. I am honestly so humbled and grateful to be a part of it. 

So it was a miracle-packed week -- filled with revelation from leadership council, personal study, and our companionship fast. I feel like the windows of heaven are quite literally opening and pouring out blessings and guidance on us. I love being a missionary!!

Hermana Parks 
Sister Leaders selfie
Twinners with Hna Ruiz
New fruit
The pensionista in Sullana lives on the river
And a selfie with Hna Flores and Carlos -- the investigator turned convert that I visited back in July with Hna Shill! He´s preparing for a mission! 
sunset in Sullana (thank goodness - it was so hot that day!)
nighttime planning sesh with Hna FLores! (from Santa Cruz Bolivia, newbie in the mission!)
Zone meeting selfie
Heading out with our 20 Libros de Mormon
took these shots on the hill when we climbed over it to drop off our laundry!
comp selfies - lots of selfies this week
B of M matches my new dress
The stuffed animal selfie is from last night when the light went out in Talara - pitch black since 7pm .. we were using my little flashlight! 
beach pics! Elder Iglesias is our district leader - from Chile, and his comp Elder Villalba is from Ecuador. Super funny elders

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