|Hermana Bowles with 2 nuevitas and Hermana Blunk (Mission Pres. wife). She was visiting during a zone conference.|
|Hermana Bowles and Hermana Rodriguez in the "Plaza de Armas" in the center of Moyobamba. There is an orchid fountain behind them. Moyobamba is famous for their orchids.|
|This is Cuy--guinea pig. They ordered it at a restaurant and Hermana Rodriguez got the head and she got the other half. Yum-Yum|
Wow....newsy news at home. Sounds like things are as busy and as wonderful as ever. It makes me so happy to know how people are doing at home. This week I`ve thought a lot about the blessings I had growing up in a "valley of Mormons". Even though not everyone is a member, everyone is blessed by the faithful. It`s a modern day version about how the Lord "preserves even one of the righteous." Each one of us matters in our efforts and not only our lives, but the lives of those around us are immediately blessed. To think that three different couple in our street our getting married in the temple in this week is absolutely incredible. THE GOSPEL OF JESUS OF CHRIST BLESSES ANYONE WHO ACCEPTS IT AND LIVES IT.
I`m not on the countdown....but I complete eight months in the mission, and five of them in Moyobamba this last week. I literally cannot believe how fast time has flown by. Every day more that I`m here and I am more and more grateful. I think of how much I`ve learned in so short a time and will be forever grateful for this sacred time in Moyobamba. Here I am with my eyes tearing up because I know that I was sent to where I needed to be. My mission call was not to the cathedrals and museums of Vienna or the countrysides of Great Britain.....no....here I am in Moyobamba because of a Father in Heaven who knows what I need best, who knew that for me to be more fully converted I would have to be humbled by the language and culture of Peru where I could learn first hand that the Plan of Salvation is real and a plan for each of us to return to the family of which we have always been apart of. As Elder Bednar taught us when I was in the MTC in Provo : "ON your mission you do not represent yourselves, your families, or your hometowns. You are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and have been entrusted to preach HIS gospel."
Sorry that I couldn`t send any pictures last week.....I included three this week :) One is with Hna. Rodriquez, Hna. Faras (the newbie of the Hna. Sanhueza en Moyo), and Hna. Blunck when President Blunck and his wife came for zone conference the other week. The picture of me and Hna. Rodriguez together is in la Plaza de Armas in the center of Moyobamba. Can you see the giant orchid fountain in the background? Moyobamba is famous for their "orchids." The other is of the "cuy" that we tried last week.
We went to a restaurant with the zone because it was pouring rain and Hna. Rodriguez and I decided that we couldn`t leave Peru without trying the legendary "cuy" (guinea pig). All of us burst out laughing when they brought our lunch plates because it looked like they literally cut a cuy in half and brought it to us. Hna. Rodriguez got the head half......it was so almost-alive that we could barely eat. Plus....there isn`t that much meat on such a tiny little rodent. Elder Tocto from Chiclayo told us to pick it up and suck off the meat but with the face (complete with an eye) looking at us we just couldn`t do that.
A "walk. walk. talk. knock. on. door" week. I learned a lot about diligence and perseverance this week. We helped the Branch President`s wife put back the Primary Hymnbooks. The papers were all piled in chaotic clumps and we had to take everything apart and assemble them again in order . It was so beautiful to be humming the songs to myself and read the lyrics as we placed them back into order. While I didn`t know many of them because they were all in Spanish, It was full of "tender mercy." I thought about all of the cute little kids all over the world who are learning these little songs and through music can feel God`s love for them. While it might not be a conscious thing for them, an experience in Primary can be the little seed for someone to have faith in their Father in Heaven. I know this is true from personal experience-- I catch myself so many times humming some primary melody or hymn. Lately, Hna. Rodriguez and I have burst into song walking down the street and doing excercises in the morning.
It was a lot of walking this week with various failed appointments, but it made me realize that if we are doing what we are supposed to, Heavenly Father puts us where we can help his children most. One morning we were walking in Mira Flores after one of the ladies we went to visit wasn`t home. We were walking towards "plan B" when we found a woman with her arms full of a bag of odds and ends and a table/bench. We asked where she was going and offered to help her carry her things. She let us take the bench and we carried it back into her house about a half block away. Come to find out.....she had a C-section of twins two weeks ago and has two older boys besides. Her husband was in their chacra. She sat down exhausted in her house. After a little persuading (very very little) she consented to letting us help her and we spent the next thirty minutes washing her dishes. I`m grateful that we were doing what we were supposed to (finding a plan B) so that we could do something small like washing her mountain of dishes in the spicket on the side of her house.