I don`t know if you guys heard about the earthquake in Ecuador but apparently people felt it here too -- we didn`t because we were outside walking when it happened but afterwards a tsunami warning went out for Talara - we weren`t worried but we had a couple appointments fall through because people were leaving to higher ground in Talara Alta, haha. In the end nothing happened of course. But oh man if a tsunami DID happen in Talara, we`d be toast because they produce gas here and if those gigantic tanks exploded...
This week we did service for our branch president`s family! Mostly for his wife -- we organized one of her old shelves and helped cook lunch. I can testify that service is an important way to soften hearts and improve relationships. We developed more love for her and confidence in our relationship -- she gave us names of a few less active youth to visit from her seminary roll and is now more willing to help us in la obra misional.
Yesterday church was so good -- and so stressful. We woke up, made calls, sent texts, and left to pick up a couple investigators (Elisabeth and Abigail). When we got to church I couldn`t believe my eyes -- la familia Roman was sitting there like papa ducklings with their little ones all in a row! Hermano Martin, Celina, and their 3 youngest kids came of their own accord and EARLY what? Oh man, their family really struggles economically. Their dad is a certified engineer but hasn`t been able to find work for a long time and they live in a small dirt-floor house. They called us 2 Saturdays ago because they didn`t have enough money to buy food .. of course we can`t offer economic support but we were able to visit them and share the story from the Bible of the woman who didn`t have enough to eat but fed a prophet and later had more than enough! They understood the lesson on faith, and have been receiving blessings here and there to get by. It warmed my heart seeing them ready to go in sacrament meeting. I gave a talk (on super short notice, basically winged it) and then after sacrament meeting Hna Ruiz left me to go to Piura for a baptism in her old area! AH. I was with Alexandra (member who lives in Talara Alta who has her mission call to Ecuador!) on divisions and had to get la familia Roman, Eda, Joel, and Elisabeth to Primary and classes without too many casualties. It was quite stressful -- but we survived! It ended up being a great .
And did I metion that Hna Ruiz and I are STAYING in Talara and staying together this transfer!!! Woo hoo!!!! Such a relief -- we were freaking out the day of transfers but all is well!! Oh and our area just got a WHOLE lot bigger! They closed Hna Tinini`s area so we`ll be splitting it with the zone leaders -- and it looks like we`ll be receiving even more parques! Los Parques is an area with several circles of houses that have a park in the middle and a giant statue of the virgin in the center -- the people there are SOOO Catholic. I`m not kidding -- every door has a sign that says ^Somos Catolicos. Dios lo sabe y nos ama. Translation would be We`re Catholic. God knows it and loves us. HA. Nonetheless, we`re picking up some good menos activos and a part member family!
The work moves forward in Talara :)