September 26, 2016

And the miracles just don't stop coming

The cake her companions made her for her Sweet 16 (months)

I can honestly say that Friday was the best day I have had here in Bolivia and that Presidente Rodriguez is the best. I`ll tell you why later.
We were doing a little daily contact with Jorge Z. and his 6 year old daughter because he wanted to tell us about what he read in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. He said, ¨So I was reading in my Bible and there`s a part that talks about Christ`s other sheep.¨ We flipped open to John 10:16 and he said, ¨So that refers to us right? And that`s why we have the Book of Mormon. I think that Christ really loved these people and so that`s why after His resurrection He came here and established His church.¨ By this point, Hna Cayambe and I were just speechless. We gave him the Book of Mormon 2 weeks ago and he understands it better than I did when I came on the mission. We are literally just the instruments in God`s hands in these people`s lives. This is why I LOVE being a missionary. I have seen the conversions of so many loved ones. And can`t wait to see more.
We had a lesson with Teresa A. who had completely shut herself out of the gospel for the comment on her son of color. (being on the other side now and being one of the few whites I get many comments, but I love the skin I`m in.) But we were able to have a powerful lesson on the temple and that she needs to make some plans and goals to get there. We`re being the tools so the Spirit can creep into her heart, little by little.

We had a wonderful conference with Presidente on the Holy Ghost. One thing I LOVED was when he said that when we receive a prompting and we`re not sure if it`s from the Holy Ghost or we made it up, if it`s good - DO IT. We`ll receive the blessings just by being our own agents and acting and not being acted upon. Then one sweet Hermana shared an experience about trusting in the Lord and waiting for the family they went to bring to church and waiting and waiting and they finally left. She said, ¨and this family is getting baptized this weekend.¨ My heart sank and I mouthed across the room ¨WHO??¨ Because these are the Trompillo hermanas. My wonderful area where I was from January to July. Long story short, Hermana Alvarez and I got permission to go to a double baptism and see our 7 investigators enter into a convenant with God. We crashed a baptism in Trompillo Friday night of The Familia D.: Eduardo finally stopped drinking, and him and Betty got married, and their other 2 children Leo and Diana all got baptized. If that didnt make us cry enough, the family that made me cry the most when I got transfers got baptized too. Maria Lenny and her daughter Laura and son Pablo. We got there early and when they all showed up everyone was crying. Happy tears. We worked hard. Gave our all. The hermanas that are there now too.  And the Lord is incredible and converted them. Some plant the seed and others harvest it. But we can all enjoy the fruits of the harvest.

The Church is incredibly true. I love that this black nametag gives me a front row seat to the conversion of these precious children of God. My brothers and sisters. And oh do I love them. Go watch conference with questions and I promise the Lord will answer them, like He answered mine Saturday night in the women`s session. Especially when the cute Utah girl choir didnt know that they were singing the favorite hymn, How Firm a Foundation, of a missionary in Bolivia. I`ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Hermana Park

September 19, 2016

adventures and peanut butter cookies!

First thing`s first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! :) 
If you havent noticed, Hermana Cayambe has glasses. We had to get her a new prescription this week and Derly took us Monday. Then Tuesday when Derly picked up the glasses and they had messed up her prescription. We got special permission when Derly had work off Thursday to return to the eye doctor. BUT they were closed and there is no parking in downtown Santa Cruz. So Derly said we`ll drive around for 15 minutes until they come back from lunch, because it`s a bit of a drive to the 4th ring. What happened is that she took us to see part of Santa Cruz, she promised to not make us disobedient and cross mission boundaries! She ended up taking us to see part of Santa Cruz that has mennonitas, the german immigrants who came here for the good soil. The mission is the first time where I`ve been called things for my skin color. Derly drove past them all and stopped and yelled, ¨mennonita!¨ at me and they all got confused and gave me some dirty looks, as if I had escaped from their colony in the mountains. We asked a man with a store next to the eye doctor and he told us her husband works around the corner. MIRACLE we found the other shop and got her glasses fixed. In other news a random little boy was running through the street screaming, ¨Yo soy Emily!¨ at me. Or Im Emily. Also Hermana Sanchez that I live with hid in our bathroom the other night and started running water in a successful attempt to scare us. Weird things happen in South America.
We visited the Zuñiga family again! Jorge was extremely excited to be able to read the Book of Mormon! He said he`ll read it all if it will strengthen his family. They invited us to have lunch with them this week :) Another miracle was with the mom, Graciela, of a less active, Gabriela. We went to search for Gabriela and she invited us in for the first time in a year. She wants to change her life and calm down her kids a bit. We are so excited to start teaching her again and hope that this can reactivate the cute red head Gabriela. Another of the many many miracles was with Lydia yesterday. We went to look for her son who we contacted and she invited us in and gave us PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES. She is an English teacher and once she heard that I know who Betty Crocker is she let us in and wants to listen to our beautiful message.
The mission is full of adventures and there are miracles every day. These people might turn down this offer now, but luckily it`s not a once in a life time offer. I`ll just put in my best effort and do my best now that today I reached 16 months. I love Bolivia and I love the Savior.
Hermana Park

September 12, 2016

But Hermana Park, where`s your faith?

This week we visited the Ortiz Family again and we had a great lesson on the Book of Mormon. At the end, after feeling the Spirit, when trying to schedule another appointment they said that they would call us on Saturday to schedule it. I explained to them a bit that well, it`s better to make it now incase they forget, and they said, ¨no, we`ll call you Saturday to verify if we`re going to church Sunday.¨ So I said, ¨great! So what day can we visit you again?¨ And they said, ¨like we said, we´ll call you, yeah?¨ We were with the pensionista Derly and she said, ¨haha sorry! She doesnt understand. She`s still learning Spanish.¨ Humble pie shoved in my face! Yum! After in Derly`s car she said that they would call and I realized that my faith had completely dissolved as I raised my voice just a little and said, ¨They wont call! Everyone who has told me they`ll call, never has!¨ She stopped the car and said ¨But Hermana Park. Where`s your faith?¨ I had to do some serious soul searching and I learned that really, my faith was gone! I spent all week studying about it and praying for my faith to be increased. Yesterday I decided to put it all in practice! I realized, that faith lets you have the Spirit, and the Spirit makes the work fun! I am absolutely loving being a missionary and spreading the gospel to these Lamanites here in Santa Cruz. Hortencia and Bryan are reading the Book of Mormon. Chachi is loving her Book of Mormon in Portuguese. Hortencia cried in Gospel Principles yesterday from feeling the Spirit so strongly. Artemio committed to take the first step of saying NO when offered to drink beer. These are just a few of the many many miracles we are seeing. The Gospel is unbelievably true.
You`re all invited to do something this week that makes you stretch and show your faith. Try not doubting God`s power just one time and I promise you will be amazed.

Also, Hermana Cayambe is doing really well with her English. I tried to not laugh too hard hearing, ¨You`re crazy but I amn`t.¨ She got the concept right! 

with a lot of love and some dirt in your face from all the wind in our area,
Hermana Park

Okay. I put all the photos in first so that the nice man that works here can try to find all my photos that got erased...again :) But life goes on! We`ve got pics from the activity with the Elders where we played extreme volleyball and then they bought us huge hamburgers and ice cream. Muuucchha comida. So that`s what the Elders do. While waiting, we took hermana pictures in Hot Burger. I am in front mostly because they designated me for having the longest arms! Woohoo! 

September 5, 2016

many miracles in the mission of miracles.

Santa Cruz is great because you never have to pack away your cold weather clothes. In other words, it`s cold.
We had stake conference yesterday which was great, because Trompillo is in my stake! I got to see many of my favorite people from Trompillo to Sandra, the Bishop, to the newlyweds the Davalos Family, to my favorite Cesari`s and Valeria. I think the biggest miracle of all was Hortencia. We passed by her house to pick her up for the conference and she was cleaning because a visit was coming, but she`d do her best to come. Then something struck inside (hint: the Holy Ghost) and she came! Alone! She said she loved it! Her favorite part was she walked in during the part in the Stake President`s talk ¨And the punctuality is a big issue...¨
We have been working hard visiting just the cutest less active named Yoshelin. We love her so much. (She`s in the pic with a lot of people from the family home evening we had with her and another family and a returned missionary everyone`s trying to set her up with) She got baptized when she was 10. Her dad abandoned the family. Her mom went to Spain. And she got left with the Catholic grandma. Then a month ago, she just got tired of fighting and went to church. She has a 2 year old who`s also really cute. It`s one of those times where I`m pretty sure I knew her in the pre-existence.
Hermana Cayambe is really cute like a kitten learning to walk. She`s way better than I was when I started the mission. She is inviting EVERYONE to be baptized and knows her purpose. We had a lesson with the Familia Rivera. The dad, Nelson, said that he just didnt see the reason of being baptized if he`s a good person, serves others, votes. But what he didnt understand is that baptism is for the remission of sins. But now he understands :) By the power of the Holy Ghost you can know the truth of all things, because it`s not us who is converting him. We also found just the cutest family! The familia Ortiz. Gabriela, Alfredo, their 14 year old son Junior, and their 2 year old Jose. The have the realest of real intents to learn and do God`s will. Please pray for them!! and for Ximena who knows the Book of Mormon is true and wants to get baptized! All we need to do is find her husband to teach the whole family!

I love you all! The Book of Mormon changes lives! and Matthew 25:40 is truer than true. Have fun at the Eastern Idaho State Fair and for the sake of all that is good and holy someone eat a tiger ear for me!
Love, Hermana Park

Pics! Everything that happened this week with lots from the stake conference in the wind! Also included pics of Hna Cayambe to share with her family too.
well maybe the pics wont work because there are many kiddies playing video games right now so im not sure if the photos made it in! but I LOVE YOU!