February 29, 2016

One more day!!

Baptism of Yolanda and Antonio!

What a blessing it is to have an extra day here in beautiful, sunny Santa Cruz! We had an exciting week. It gets even better than seeing a giant rat jump out of the kitchen window of a third story apartment onto the neighbor's roof or when we showed up at the house of a family that got baptized in November after receiving a referral of his brother and the family invited us in and fed us, even though they have hardly anything. They dont give because they have not, but when they have, they give.

The exciting part was the baptism of Yolanda and Antonio! They are SO cute and SO happy to be members. Their baptism was a little delayed because our ward mission leader was going to baptize them, but couldn´t find his white pants! So an hour later we finally got things going! Our pensionista Magui made them a cake, (it looked really good...Stake Conference this week, so fast Sunday yesterday.) Everyone was happy. Yolanda swallowed some water and called me "Hermana Choca," which is said to be a little more offensive than Gringa. But I dont take offense! haha

Yolanda let her granddaughter dye her hair and doesn´t have a mirror, so this was the first time she saw her hair is red. And her son Antonio was very excited to make new friends in priesthood! BUT they almost didn´t get the Holy Ghost yesterday because it was raining. HARD. Which is a sign for everyone to not come to church. So we went to their house at 7:30. Soaking. And helped them get everything ready to come. They were ready at 8:30, church starts at 8, so we were trying to flag down a taxi, but they wanted to overcharge us, so we waited some more. Then a member drove past with her daughter and only had room for 2! So we sent off Yolanda and Antonio, and they are confirmed members of La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los últimos días. YAY! The church is true!
We have an extra day of life today and my hope is that everyone takes this day to serve someone, share the gospel, smile at someone. Go the extra mile to make this the best February 29th to remember for the next 4 years! You are all wonderful.

With love,
Hermana Park

February 22, 2016

The 411 on everything Santa Cruz

Hermana activity of making crepes and skits with our 2 zones

elevator pic

 Salteñas and coke is the blood of Bolivia

 I went running in the morning with Hna Huber and came back to this! Happy 9 months! Hermana Orozco, Secce, and Canales made if for me :)

The hermanas in my apartment :)

Sorry my emails haven´t been coming through! hope this one makes it!
Here´s to all who have been reading my lame journal entry emails and who want to know what I´m actually doing!
SANTA CRUZ is wonderful. I actually really love it, even if it´s humid! Here are some fun facts:
1. We have hipermaxi. It´s a little smaller than Walmart, but way bigger than anything in Tarija. I was in shock entering in. haha
2. Rav 4´s in blue must have been on sale here. 
3. Everyone talks about how we don´t have a sea because Chile stole it from us. (Thanks Chile.)
4. I have no idea where they come from, but there are horse and buggies driven by teenage boys. 
5. Because Santa Cruz is flat, it´s very windy. The fun part is that the clouds move very fast! It´s fun to look up because there´s always a different cloud. That must be how the time moves so fast here! 
6. We live pretty close to a circus and e v e r y night at 9:15 they play the same Bruno Mars song from 2010. 
7. It is comprised by 8 rings. We are in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. So the ward has a little more money. Our ward mission leader bought us all BURGER KING in correlación and WE ATE THE LETTUCE. I will never take lettuce for granted again! Also he and his wife took us home, and I wore a seatbelt for the first time in 9 months. It was a beautiful moment.
We got a call Saturday morning saying that the baptism we had planned for Yolanda and her son Antonio had to be rescheduled for this Saturday because yesterday was elections. The law here is that you can´t have meetings of any kind election day. So better safe than sorry, we couldn´t have a ¨meeting¨ Saturday night. That also means no church yesterday. So we were on lock down yesterday. That will have been 4 days of February locked in!
Late news, carnaval was fun! We studied all morning, lunch, ¨personal projects¨ for 4 hours of writing a letter, reading conference talks, etc. at 5 dinner. Then read the missionary handbook for an hour, made goals. Watched the missionary transmision from January for 2 hours. Then planned for the next day. That was what we did for 3 days. Then did it again yesterday.
Everything here is wonderful! Hermana Orozco from Colombia says hello to all. We are working with so many families to get them baptized and Yolanda and Antonio will be baptized this Saturday sí o sí. (That is a phrase here that means for sure! But directly translated is yes or yes!)
I love you all and hope everyone is nourishing their spirits by praying and reading the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY and not being a Sunday Mormon, but every day of the week :) You are all wonderful and Christ knows you all individually and is waiting with arm outstretched to bring you into His fold. Follow Him! It´s tough, but worth it.
Hermana Park


FINALLY got reunited with Hermana Newbold in our intercambio! :)
We walked outside for 10 seconds to grab our lunch through the gate from our pensionista and got blasted with water balloons from a car! haha 

Happy Valentine´s Day. We got dumped on just walking home from church! haha

One thing I am coming to understand is the concept of time. These 2 weeks since I have emailed, 3 days locked up inside, and more importantly 9 months of my mission have flown by ridiculously fast. It makes me think of interstellar and how we can change the concept of time. On some planets, 1 hour is 7 years  to us. That would mean that my 9 months have been like 10 seconds. 

As I have put on my Hermana Park nametag, I have seen so many miracles. Here is 1 example from church yesterday. I only have about 5 minutes to practice before playing for Sacrament Meeting in my ward. And yesterday I didn´t have time to practice all 4 of the songs, and so when the 3rd song came,and everyone stood up for interlude, I said a little prayer and relaxed my hands. I thought okay. I don´t know the tune of this song, but I will just count it out like I did in band. 4/4. And I started playing, AND IT CAME. I played the song almost perfectly and realized that I had heard it one time. There are 1 million better piano players in the world, and without more practice I would never make it as an organ player in Sacrament meeting in the USA. But Heavenly Father KNOWS us all perfectly and individually. He knows our talents, our weaknesses, our fears, and He helps us. Because He loves us. 

Life is beautiful and thinking about reaching the halfway mark makes me really grateful for the 5 companions, 3 areas, a couple tears, a few laughs, and 9 months I have grown and changed to become a better disciple of Christ. 

I love you all and hope Valentine´s Day was full of LOVE. Because I love love :) 

Love, Hermana Park

PS.  Shout out to my cousin David, who was on the Today Show!

February 1, 2016


From the last activity in Tarija last Monday where we celebrated Hermana Trimble's birthday!

BYE Hermana Petroff! 

HELLO Hermana Orozco! (dont be fooled, there is another huge suitcase behind the other one!)

We got a call from the zone leaders Tuesday morning that said "hey hermanas. Just wanted to tell you that Hermana Park needs to start packing and we'll call you tonight to tell you where she goes." What a lovely call. haha I tried to work my very hardest on my last day in Tabladita and in Tarija! We celebrated by eating a whole Greek pizza Tuesday night. Then Wednesday morning every hermana from the USA that I came with and I flew to Santa Cruz! It was a teary goodbye in the airport, but they gave us a muffin and dried fruit on the plane, so it's okay. (And Raqual got baptized on Saturday and her husband, Mateo got to baptize her!)

The zone leaders said "Hermana Park, you are going to the zone Cañoto. Your area is TROMPILLO." otherwise known as Hermana Petroff's only other area! the first thing I said was"Are you kidding me?" Because when we came to Santa Cruz for training 3 times, we stayed in Trompillo, I have eaten with the pensionista, I knew some of the members, and best yet, I had gone on splits with my companion! The sweet, crazy Hermana Orozco from Columbia. She told me "I have 4 months in the mission. I am so glad to have been put with an antigua" or ancient. hahaha who knew 8 months makes you ancient.

But I really do love Trompillo. I dont know how many people came up to me in church yesterday to tell me welcome to Trompillo!! And how happy they were that I can play the piano! (even if it isn't Sister Hale status good!) Also, a boy came up to me and asked if I know Stan Cook, who was his mission president, and our ward misson leader went to Shelley a few months ago to visit his brother (who owns a restaurant in Idaho Falls called Argula Deli or something). SMALL WORLD! We got a surprise Fridaynight and the mission nurse, who is in a trio, moved in with us! So we are living as 5 hermanas! That will be fun this next weekend for carnaval. (The mission nurse, Hermana Huber, went to BYUI and knows Kyle Sargent!)

Special alert: We will be on lock down SundayMonday, and Tuesday so I'll write you all on the 15th! I LOVE YOU ALL and I hope you can enjoy the first day of the month of love by feeling of Heavenly Father's love for you and how He knows YOU personally :) Happy Valentine's Day!

Hermana Park