Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 63 Emptying the Ocean with an Eyedropper October 24, 2016

Look who I found in Catacaos!!!
This week was not my week... I'm not sure who's it was but it wasn't mine. I hope it was yours!

Not only did I accidentally give myself a third degree burn but the next day I tripped and fell almost straight on my face. Luckily the only people who saw were my comp and the homeless man on our street. He got a good chuckle out of it. You know it's a bad day if the bum is laughing at you...

Luisaac asked me why I was all scraped up.....
me:"Oh you know, just exfoliating the dead skin" (and new)
Luisaac:"with what?"
Me: "The asphalt."
Short cuts...
A little over a month ago Hermana Tanuvasa told us a story around the lunch table. I know I won't give this story/analogy the justice it deserves, but in essence, it goes like this:

Hermana Tanuvasa's younger brother is currently a high school football player. Standing 6 foot 3 inches and weighing 225 pounds he plays on the defensive line. In one particular Friday night football game his opponent stood at 6 feet 6 inches and weighed 280 pounds. (sounds like NFL right?!) The first play began and as her brother pushed and pushed his enormous opponent he could not get him to move. When the play ended he walked over, sat on the bench and put his head in his hands in frustration. His dad, from the bleachers, observed him and headed down to the field. He calmly talked to his son, giving him counsel and encouragement until the next play. He stepped on the field and with even more determination than before, stood strong against his opponent. But again he was unable to get him to even budge. There he sat, on the bench with his head in his hands as his dad stepped down from the bleachers to be with his son. This pattern continued throughout the entire game until the clock ran out and the final whistle was blown. He walked off the field feeling frustrated and defeated. But to some surprise, his team had won. He had won.

To be completely honest I feel as if a little bit of frustration is beginning to creep into my generally positive attitude. Talara is a difficult area. I've done the hard stuff, I've learned the language, I've figured out how to be a missionary. At this point in my mission I feel like never before have I been oh so determined to make a difference and to see results. Hermana Sepulveda and I are working so hard, we are obedient, and yet everything fell through this week. There have been no results. Sometimes missionary work truly feels like emptying the ocean with an eyedropper. I wake up every morning to go to work and someone hands me my schedule: "Dig a bottomless pit." This work is beginning to feel impossible!

Last month the missionaries of the Peru Piura mission received an email from President Rasmussen that said:
I just received the monthly report from the missionary department. Each of our key indicators consistently measures above the average in the South America Northwest Area. Through the first eight months of the year the Peru Piura Mission has baptized 465 people -- 60 more than we baptized during all of last year. And note that last year we had 42 more missionaries than we have now. You are miracle workers.
I want to express my thanks to each of you for your diligent and obedient service. I testify that it does make a difference to be obedient to the rules and standards given to us by our leaders. We are a team. The individual efforts of each of you are making a huge difference in our collective accomplishments. 
Once, in a meeting, President Rasmussen talked about how this mission isn't always easy. We are not big wards and stakes with every auxiliary organized and home and visiting teaching implemented. We don't have activities that members put on or a temple visitors center to take our investigators on tours of. The church is still relatively new here and I know of very few third or even second generation members. The majority are converts still struggling with turning their membership to the church into a lifestyle rather than a hobby or part time activity. Yet I consider it a huge blessing to play even the tiniest part into Piura one day getting a Temple, or even Talara becoming a stake. I may feel frustration when I don't see immediate results but I'm immensely blessed to have leaders, friends, companions, family members who consistently help me, like in our mission song to, "carry on, carry on, carry on!" Until then, I'll continue emptying this ocean with my eyedropper, having hope in knowing that I'm on a team, The Lords team. We cannot lose.

con mucho amor,
Hermana Ingram
I love talking to the Peruvian children almost more than the adults (:
My comp and the Jesus statue in the distance

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