Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Some call it "Dia de la Amistad" here in Peru ... so I guess "Happy Friendship Day!" This week FLEW BY ... and each week it seems like every week goes by faster and faster.
Gee Whiz Facts of the Week:
1. We have a major cockroach problem in our room. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE ... and without fail I kill about three huge ones a day.
2. Our best friends of the week - chalacas and ice cream from the men who drive their ice cream bicycles around.
3. Celebrated the birthday of my Talara brother Mahonri ... PERUVIAN STYLE!!! Throwing many eggs and singing the traditional Happy Birthday Song (dudududu... "Cumpleanos feliz, te deseamos a ti, cumpleanos feliz, te deseamos a ti!!!")
What we learned this last week: we are here to find Los Escogidos. After finding so many new investigators last week we realized that although they loved to listen to our message, it was not their time to progress. So we spent the week leaving and searching for new investigators. It was a pretty rough week for us ... meaning no one came to church, many of the new investigators we found last week are nowhere to be found, no one has accepted a baptismal date, and we have gotten rejected way too many times to count these last few days. And then in our weekly planning we broke down a bit from everything that has happened this week. It was definitely was a humbling week for us ... but you want to know the crazy thing? After every trial it was a like a random miracle popped out of nowhere. At first we didn't recognize them because we were so frustrated with the trails, but as we looked back, we could see that Heavenly Father shows his hand in this work.
Here are a few examples:
1. A less-active we have never met showed up to our ward council just because he felt like it was time to come back to the church. He is from our area and we have been praying to find less-actives.
2. After a day of MANY rejections we went to a FHE with one of our less-active families and taught about missionary work. We asked them for references and they gave us seven! Most references I received in my ENTIRE MISSION!
3. As we have knocked doors this week we have been constantly rejected ... but a few miracles came from it. We found a lady who had listened to missionaries before but lost contact with them and would love to learn more. Another new investigators came from knocking about 20 doors and the last doors we knocked we found a lady invited us in without even hearing who we were or what we had to says ... and now she is a new investigator who is very interested.
4. Hermana Kati has recognized that ever since she started listening to us she has seen miracles in her own family ... her husband found a job, she began to be very successful in her work, and feels such a peace that wasn't there before. They came to the Noche Misional and she is so close to accepting a baptismal date. She says she knows its true.
So although it was not the best week for us we are going to keep on going ... and then when it gets really hard ... TO LOOK FOR THE MIRACLES. They are not always something drastic or huge, but they are always there. So I guess we can apply that to our daily life as well. When the trials come we have two decisions ... we can either get down and feel bad or we can look at all the many blessing we do and then just keep on keeping on. We are excited for a new week and I know it will bring GREAT THINGS!
We are teaching many different people but at this point are focusing on who truly is ready for baptism. Or what we call LOS ESCOGIDOS. Kati and her son Lucas are the closest to being baptized and they feel it is true! She is just waiting for an answer from Heavenly Father, telling her this is it. Last lesson she promised to pray for a baptismal date tonight, and we will see what she says the Tuesday when we visit her.
Talara is progressing little by little ... I KNOW this next week will be a better week!
When life seems hard remember to LOOK for the miracles and blessing you have in your life. They are there ... I promise!
Keep on keeping on and pray for my investigators!
XOXO Hermana Shumway
Happy Valentine’s Day
The "fruit man" that passes us in the streets
Eating lunch with the Familia Rosales
A lunch we ate during the week - SUPER GOOD
Ran up this mountain today with the comp
So cool to look over the city
A little relaxation to start the day
Cleaning the dishes in our sink
Mahonri's Birthday (one of the sons of Familia Rosales) ... that blue bouncy ball was his birthday present from us ... figured he liked to play soccer
AND ... yes we did throw eggs at him to celebrate ... GOTTA LOVE PERU!
Eating our piononos in the street ... it is a bread with a carmelish-type filling
La Noche Misional
The ward activity
Great things are happening here
Spreading the love
They sell chickens in the street like this ... NUTS right?
Celebrating Hermana Liliana's birthday
Doing what we do
Love sharing this message of happiness
Another beautiful ending to a great day