November 14, 2016

We Made It This Far

¨High school (or the mission) wasn`t meant to last forever.¨

Flash back to the St. George marathon 2014. I have been running for more than 4 hours. My Walter Mitty soundtrack is getting old. I have no idea where the finish line is. I hear someone yell, ¨keep going! It`s at the end of this road!¨ I break off from my pace group and start to sprint. I feel dizzy like death living off sacrament cup sized gatorade and bananas, and through squinted eyes see Thomas and Caley! Yay! But where are the balloons, people, ice cream? Did they pack it up and go home? I yelled, ¨Where is the finish line!¨ And they told me that it was around the corner. I wanted to cry but couldn't for the shortage of water in my body. I had nothing left to give, but kept running. Because I knew that there were wonderful things awaiting me at the end of the road. I remember the satisfaction I felt as I crossed the finish line and heard my name announced, got my medal, someone handed me ice cream, and I collapsed under a tree in the racers only area and cried. I could not believe that I had run 26.2 miles and I also couldn`t believe that I still had a body because I was pretty sure I had died and left my body back at the volcano on mile 9. It was the most beautiful experience and so is the mission. I am completely and utterly amazed that this is my last email as Hermana Park in a strange Bolivian internet. These (almost) 18 months have been extremely hard yet wonderful as I have come to the knowledge of my Savior Jesus Christ and that He has always been beside me guiding me. Everything was worth it because I have seen the conversion of my best friends here in Bolivia.

One of my best friends, Hortencia, came to church yesterday and we`re taking her to a relief society party tomorrow to make panetones (half bread, half cake). And I am so excited because she`s going to get baptized. I wont be there to see it, but all that matters is that I was there to help her along her way. And many other beautiful people here are progressing along their way toward true happiness in Christ that I will tell you all about next week...

Also, I have no idea how I learned to speak and understand the beautiful Spanish language.

My life won`t be the same without peanut soup, chasing people down to secure them their salvation, walking miles, and being too close for comfort in buses, but I have absolutely loved representing Jesus Christ in this time.

For the last time,
Hermana Park

November 7, 2016


I love Santa Cruz.

Wednesday we all got in a little bus to go to the zoo, I was chosen to sit at the front facing everyone because there werent enough seats (seat belts dont really exist here) Our drivers, 2 members from Jard├Čn del Sur ward, started playing reggueton (worldly pop south american music) and we asked if anyone had a usb with music. The Elders told the hna with her usb to hide it so they could keep listening to worldly music. We have been studying Alma 41:10 and Hna Cayambe and I made a plan to put in the music, because I was closest. And it came to pass that the Elders had to put up with EFY and motab all the way to the North Mission. Until we got a flat tire, luckily right as we got there at 1. It was raining pretty hard and they were going to close at 2. Elder Lozano who had already been to the zoo was our guide as we ran through every site trying to coax the animals to come out in the rain. We saw a tiger.
Out of nowhere Hna Cayambe got a migraine Thursday during the district meeting. Hna Monar was sick too, so the 2 of them went off to the hospital together. So I was able to go on a few companion exchanges with my Trompillo companion I live with Hna Alvarez. One of the great miracles we saw was with Monica! She has found so much peace in reading the Book of Mormon and wants to get baptized! She accepted a baptismal date! (in the pics she is with her aunt who`s in a wheelchair) Later in the week, we were in the house because Hna Cayambe`s medicine makes her really tired and a little dillusional, and Hortencia called at 8:15 pm. She said, ¨Hermanas! Where are you? Im waiting for you!¨ I told her we wouldnt be able to go, it was late, we were far, etc and she said, ¨No! Please come right now!¨ Hna Aspiazu (another hna I live with) was there with me because her companion went out to visit with Hna Alvarez. We looked at eachother and said, ¨WE`RE ON OUR WAY!¨ We took a bus and made it there to find that she had made us a big dinner! She was so excited because it was the first time she could invite us something to eat. We talked to her about the blessings she received from going to church last week, and she said that she`ll keep coming. She came yesterday and stayed the whoe 3 hours even though she has visitors waiting for her. The Lord is so happy with her!
I learned a great lesson on patience this week. Hna Cayambe couldnt leave her light-blocked-out room because the light makes her migraines worse. Last night about 8 pm she kept coming out and eating things that do not mix well with her medicine so I tag-teamed with Hna Alvarez to coax her back into her room to sleep and drink more water! All of the sudden she came running out laughing and said that she found her broken glasses in her bed. Shout out to every mom who has ever been in this position where you want to be upset but has had to breathe and say that everything will be okay. Christ strengthens us.
I love you all!
Hna Park

November 2, 2016


I am writing today because the zoo, in the Santa Cruz North Mission, isn't open Mondays! This week went by really fast. I haven't yet been able to swallow the word "November."  I'm still in denial about all this.

We had a noche de postres, ward party with desserts! Hermana Cayambe and I talked about how in the family, the dessert is eternal life- living together, happily as forever families. Then the Elders led the blindfolded members on the iron rod! At the end they entered the room with desserts with Motab lightly playing. I dont know if there will be chocolate cake in the celestial kingdom, but the Spirit was strong enough to testify to even the member with the hardest heart that the only way to get there is to hold onto the rod. Teresa and 2 of her young adult children entered the church for the activity for the first time in a long time. Christ guides the work.
We went to pick up Hortencia and her son Bryan for church! They have been having some problems, the good old mother/son fights. They didn`t know I was watching, but during the Sacrament, Bryan reached for his mother`s hand and smiled at her and said, ¨peace¨ until Hortencia finally smiled and they ended their fight. The Spirit is strongest during the sacred time of the Sacrament.
Monday was one the most successful days we`ve had! We were guided and protected by the Spirit! Halloween isn`t a thing here and all the Christians dressed in white and marched through town to bring light to Halloween!

My bed broke the morning that Hermana Rodriguez came to inspect the house and when she saw my broken bed and in her Spain accent yelled, ¨Why dont you open your mouth!¨ Then the secretary over the materials of the mission asked one of the other hermanas I live with, ¨Is it true that someone in your apartment needs a new bed?¨ and Hermana Monar yelled, ¨YES. Hermana Park has been sleeping on the floor for a week!¨ And the Colombian Elder said, ¨Oh, Ave Maria.¨ had to be there.

The Book of Mormon is perfect. Being a representative of the Living Christ is a joy. I love you all! Have a great week! I´m off to a rainy zoo adventure!

Hermana Park

PICS: randoms with members, from the activity, making majadito, Hna Cayambe ¨killing me¨