August 29, 2016

So I`m training.

New companions!  Hermana Cayambe.

First haircut in 16 months, trusting in Ana Maria

The haircut with new convert Ana Maria

Saying farewell to Hermana Undurraga

All of the companions that are still in Bolivia: Hermanas Orozco, Alvarez, Undurraga, and Cayambe!

SO MUCH has happened this week. Here`s the rundown.
Well Hermana dreamboat Undurraga went to Senac! Where I started this whole journey! I was so excited for her, until we realized that she`ll be in Tarija and most likely, wont come back to Santa Cruz before I end the mission. We had a really sad goodbye, until her flight got cancelled! So she spent the night in the apartment, with us all, my new companion Hermana Cayambe, and also a special surprise of my old companion Hermana Orozco who`s in Tarija and her new companion. They came to Santa Cruz because she`s training. And so am I. That night there were 9 of us in that house.
Everyone screamed when we got the call that I will be training. Because it`s actually pretty rare for hermanas because there have hardly been any new hermanas in 2016. I went to the training meeting and we had a conference with Presidente and then he lined us up against 2 walls and called one by one who would be training who. And I am now officially training Hermana Cayambe. She is from Quito, Ecuador and just a basket full of joy. We have already seen so many miracles! From finally establishing a relationship with the Bishop, to Hortencia and her son Brian who came to church, to many new people we have met and will be visiting shortly.
Back to the 9 hermanas story. Well the fun part is, that Hermana Alvarez, my other old companion, now lives with us because she`s in Guaracal. So with the flight cancelled, the 3 hermanas that were going to leave for Tarija came to our district meeting! So I got a picture with all of my companions, who are still in Bolivia, in order of Hermana Orozco, Hermana Alvarez, Hermana Undurraga, and Hermana Cayambe! I really love them all so much. 


Hermana Park

August 22, 2016

Hola hola

A couple weeks ago after our interviews with President, we stopped by the distribution center and I felt the urge to buy a Portuguese Book of Mormon. We were teaching one of our investigators, Chachi, and Hermana Undurraga picked up her brazilian accent and she has been living in Brazil for most of her life! So we shared with her that I had followed the Spirit in buying her a Book of Mormon and she was so touched she almost cried.

We have been looking for a new place to live for 2 weeks now because apparently it`s a rule that there can`t be more than 4 missionaries living in the same apartment. So the  6 of us are rule breakers in this condo we live in! But all we have found are rooms for rent. Bolivia.

After taking our measurements for pants, we got the call from the mission president`s wife saying, ¨The pants are only for new missionaries. Hermana Park wont be receiving pants.¨ How sad is reality.
We had a conference with President Rodriguez all about the Atonement. I had never realized that Christ not only suffered for my sins, but for the sins of murderers. The sins of all who have lived and will yet live. He asked for the cup to be taken, and in this moment, Satan and his followers were saying, ¨Yes! We knew you couldn`t do it. We knew you`d fail.¨ But He finished what He had been sent here to do. He did that because He loves us. And I love Him for doing it.

My pictures aren`t working sorry! But Ana Maria cut about 6 inches off! haha but life goes on. Change is good!

Hermana Park

August 15, 2016

Ana Maria and the 4th missionary

Ana Maria is the cutest! Oswaldo baptized her! He`s leaving to Panama for his mission next week!

 After the baptism, the ward had a huge Bolivian party and they all wanted to take pics of us with the food and flags and interesting objects to mash up yuka! 

And the activity with the Elders was a hit and we all got matching shirts!​

This week was wondeful! Ana Maria got baptized and everyone just loves her. Through the curtains in the font we all heard, ¨ahh! the water is so cold! Can we reschedule this for during the day?¨ She has had her own beauty salon for more than 30 years, so I`m putting my trust in her and letting her TRIM my hair in an hour! But she was prepared to be baptized. She is currently in 2nd Nephi 2 and reads the Book of Mormon whenever she has free time. Yesterday when the ward gave her a the sign of fellowship and welcome to the ward in Sacrament Meeting she waved and yelled "thanks!" We love her so much.
One of our investigators, Isabel, gave us cute white shirts and told us we are her best friends. She wants to be baptized, but something happens every Sunday and she can't come to church. With the R. Family yesterday, who are the BEST but have the really complicated situation of the wife being married to another man. We went with Belen (19) and her cousin Joselyn (20) who came to church for the 2nd time yesterday because she went inactive right after she got baptized when she was 10. They helped the family more than we culd have imagined when Belen started talking about how she didnt know where she`d be without having had the gospel her whole life and Joselyn said that she messed up by distancing herself from the church. It was a powerful lesson and the family, Nelson, Francis, Nagely, and Lucero all committed to come to church and the Meet the Mormons activity we`re having Friday!
If you have the chance to get a hold of the talk "The 4th Missionary," read it. I read it again this week and noticed that these almost 15 months (eek) I have been holding just a tiny part of me back and not giving my ALL to the Lord. His will is higher than my will and His plan will be infinitely better than mine. I feel a peace that I have never felt before. I want to challenge everyone to give just a bit more to Him this week. Go the extra mile because Heavenly Father has entrusted each one of us opportunities to do so. He can count on me and I wont let Him down again.
Hermana Park

August 9, 2016

This week will be different

August 6th is the Bolivia Independence day and skirts, a flag, and wind don`t mix!

Bolivian Sunset

Today we are going to play volleyball and eat pizza with the Elders! Sounds out of the ordinary? Because it is! President Willard cut off pretty much all contact between Elders and Hermanas a couple of years ago, but our new mission president, President Rodriguez said that he has made a higher law. The law of Moses was strict! Then Christ came and the old rules were erased. The only guidelines we have now is the fancy little white booklet we have (missionary handbook.) The mission is changing so much. Besides the fact that soon we`ll have our training on HOW TO WEAR PANTS, HATS, AND SUNGLASSES. That will be a great transition! But I`m not complaining because the mosquitoes here think my blood is an all you can eat breakfast buffet sometimes.
One of the old rules was also no English classes! So this Thursday will be my very first English class, and I'm actually pretty nervous! But there are so many people who are dying to learn and how selfish could I be to keep that from them!
Ana Maria is getting baptized this Saturday! She is just the cutest and we really love her so much. She started reading the Book of Mormon and is in 1 Nephi 21 and says that she has to reread it all because she`s forgetful! haha Her kids are completely against it and say, ¨Mom. Grandpa and grandma were Catholic and they`re watching you from heaven and will be mad when you switch religions.¨  Quite on the contrary, I think her parents will shout for joy because they`re waiting for her to do their work in the temple.
We have been finding so many new people to teach, but we need some FAMILIES. So we`re going to get better at finding families! One of the women we taught, Yirene, told us the 2nd lesson that she had a dream that I was an angel and inviting her to pray. That`s a great dream because she doesn`t want to pray in front of us.
I just really love it here and am SO HAPPY to be serving the Lord. I have never been happier, even when it is 3 pm, really hot and windy, and I'm coated in dirt. :) Life is beautiful and the church is true.

August 1, 2016

The world needs sister missionaries and you too!

 Here are all the sisters I live with! You`ll notice my former companion Hermana Petroff, Hermana Cabrera and Hermana Aquino who were in my zone in Tarija, and Hermana Canales who was in my zone in Trompillo (who some of you sweet folks sent letters to!) 

It`s actually surprising to see a tree or bush that is not cut in the shape of an animal.

This was from our sister activity last Monday where we got makeup demonstrated on us from some members in Guaracal as they taught us how to do our own makeup. I said ¨Oh, but I mean, just a little mascara maybe. I like my freckles. Something natural please.¨ Just to please the ladies. But they made me a little heavier on the eyes than I'm used to, my call is always for less makeup and enjoying the skin your in! 

After hearing a whole spiel yesterday in church about how the sisters in Los Olivos should focus on marriage and not have the goal to go on a mission, it came to my mind that the world needs more sister missionaries. We`re not going to downplay the Elders because they are wonderful tools in God's hands! But sisters know how to love. They cry with you. They comfort you. They understand your challenges. They pray for you. They pray with you. If Heavenly Father didn`t want sister missionaries, He wouldn`t have lowered the age. And He wouldn`t have told me I needed to be here.
Ana Maria is going to get baptized next week! (Said Hermana Park with all the faith she has.) So we`re finishing up her training to be completely converted. Artemio came to church yesterday and everyone was SO WELCOMING. They were fighting for who would be the one to go with him to class. He knows the Book of Mormon is true, but is still working to be able to get over his fear of failing God after knowing Him. And we met Hortencia yesterday and the member we were with said that we were here to share a message with her and because she so strongly felt that we needed to. Hortencia cried and told us she had gone to one of our churches and only entered in the doorway when she realized she confused it with another church and said she should`ve entered and we bore testimony that this is her second chance and she accepted to be baptized on September 4th.

The Secretary to Presidente called with what we thought we heard - that Hermana Undurraga had transfers. We almost cried and she yelled, ¨¿QUÈ?¨ But it was tramites, or immigrations! We were the only sister missionaries there at the immigration office, and we took advantage of the 4 hours to talk to 8 people ranging from people from Bolivia to Brazil to Chile to Missouri! Share our testimonies. Give them something to read, be it the Articles of Faith or a pamphlet to increase their faith. And note down their information because no one was from our area. That is something SO EASY that can be done in a plane, in the street, in Green Belt, I dont know where it will be, but God does :) And if you PRAY and then go for it, He will guide you. Because it`s a bit hard for God to use us as His hands if we don`t leave our room. Here`s my challenge, that if all you have to take is your smile and some kind words, GO and be what God wants you and has planned for you to be.
Hermana Park