Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Week 70 Last Transfer December 12, 2016

Pic from the infamous annual Christmas Party! (pic courtesy of Pres. and Sister Rasmussen)
And just like that my wonderful Hermana Sepulveda came and went. It was sad watching her pack her life away into two suitcases and head off into the desert abyss... She truly was another great one, I feel so lucky for awesome comps.
I wanted so badly just to rip up that bus ticket...
Is it really that time already?!?! :(

Good news! My new companion is Hna Sepulveda's trainee! Hermana Signs. She is from Cedaredge, Colorado and has been in the mission for 10 months.
Hermana Signs!
To start out the week we headed to Piura for the annual Christmas Party. The party started with a delicious Italian Pizza lunch, some fun games, a devotional- in which President always shares the Parable of the Bicycle and you can't help but get teary-eyed- special musical numbers, then to finish we watched "It's a Wonderful Life." It's now a Christmas favorite. "No man is a failure who has friends."
The Christmas Party!! (we have the greatest mission presidents of all time)
Manuel was baptized! These Hernandez boys are going places, here, let me rave about Toni for a minute. Toni, without any type of reminder or nagging, goes not only to seminary but also to institute. He has read the entire Book of Mormon and has blessed the sacrament every week since his baptism, given 2 talks, born his testimony twice, and has started his family history. He blows me away!! I am so proud of him. Just as we were so excited to see July and Jesus get married July realized her identification had expired and it takes 22 days to get it renewed.... but I loved her attitude when she said, "Well hermanas, everything happens for a reason!" Very true July. So stay tuned because I'm determined to see their baptisms!
YAY Manuel!!!
The Hernandez family with 3 baptized Hernandez boys! Up next: los padres!
Well friends, other than that, I don't feel like I have too much to say. Overall I feel so happy and grateful to be a missionary! This experience changes my life and my perspective every single day. My mission has been a catalyst in helping to solidify my testimony and understanding of the gospel. And for that every hard, exhausting, stressful day followed by a restless night is all worth it, every last bit. It is all worth it. As my time begins to slip through my fingers I am training my heart and mind to stay in the "now". I will have more than plenty of time to be mentally in Utah, but for now, I'm in Peru. There is nowhere else Id rather be.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Ingram
My Christmas decoration for Hermana Rasmussen
The mission home in all of its Christmas glory.
I'm not sure why everyone else wasn't ready for the picture (; 
Rosales family and the Hernandez family
CAN'T YOU TELL HOW EXCITED WE ARE?! (we may or may not have secretly imitated the classic Peruvian picture pose)
The lizard-catching skills from my childhood kicked in the week.
My cute Hermana Sepulveda
Peruvian kids playing on a broken water pipe over a pile of trash...closest thing to a water park I guess!
Garbage! (I wish this picture was scratch-and-sniff so you could get the full effect)
A Peruvian road
Hermana Susanna tried unsuccessfully to hide her missing tooth when I made her laugh... She yelled at her husband whom she calls Chino (for his squinty eyes..) "No Chino! Delete the picture! You can see my missing tooth!" (: oops...

Week 69 A Good Catch Phrase December 5, 2016

I hope you're all Iluminando el Mundo! (serious Spanglish going on) #lighttheworld
A good catch-phrase (and I say that tentatively, we are by no means salesmen) for lesson 2, The Plan of Salvation, is:

"Have you ever wondered where you came from, why you are here, and where you are going after this life??"

Your average Peruvian: "...No."

Before when they would answer no with a passive shrug and a blank stare I would think, "What?! You've never wondered?!" Thankfully Elder Meier once shed a little light on the subject. In psychology you learn about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It's the little triangle ranging 5 levels of human needs. Starting at the bottom with Physiological, food, water, shelter, etc. Then to things like safety, love, esteem, and finally Self-actualization. In other words, Peruvians get so stuck on what they are going to cook for lunch that day (physiological) that they never quite reach the top. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. (:

Hermana Sepulveda is leaving! :( Next Monday I will receive a new companion, who will most likely be my last. Change is always nerve wracking!
Antonio was baptized!!
The Hernandez Family!
This week was the greatest. Antonio was baptized! We sat down with Juli and Jesus and started talking about how they needed to get married. At first, Jesus started naming of all of his requirements; a big party, his whole extended family present, money for a honeymoon, etc. Things were not looking to good. We just sat there and taught them about the importance of baptism and how blessed they would be. From there we let the Spirit work in them for a time and then finally, handed Jesus a calendar and said, "Ok Jesus, when do you want to get married?" He pointed to a day, "the 10th of December." We kind of just laughed until we saw the seriousness in his eyes. A truck load of Happy-stress poured into my body. YAY HE FINALLY WANTS TO GET MARRIED! Then... oh profanities... we have less than one week to try and pull off a marriage in a country with the most complicated marriage processes.... AAHHH Not to mention we need money... Praying for miracles over here! (:
Zona Talara
A new little sister from Arizona arrived to the field a couple of weeks ago. She is fluent in American sign language and has absolutely zero background with Spanish. Not too long ago she was asking me how I survived my training without anyone to talk to in English. It looked like tears were beginning to well up in her eyes as she told me of an experience visiting a woman who was pouring her heart out to them. Hermana Pinkard wanted so badly to understand and help this woman but could do nothing as the language barrier was too giant of an obstacle. She said, "I feel useless, I'm not helping anyone." Goodness I know the feeling all too well! It feels like just yesterday I was going through a situation virtually identical to hers. I tried my best to give her some words of wisdom as I related my own experience. It actually turned out to be one of the coolest moments looking at her and seeing myself a little over a year ago. I felt like I could see very clearly how far I have really come and knowing the potential this little Hermana has. She is like a flower just waiting to bloom! Whom the Lord calls he qualifies. Soon enough she won't be merely surviving, she will be thriving.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Ingram
We made a mediocre sand castle
Dec 1-world wide day of service. Heading out to do some serious service (clean the beach)
She found a fish (not to mention 2 dead seals) 
Fishing boats
Talara in a nutshell: Fishing boats, petroleum plants, AND THE MOST RANSID SMELLS EVER!
The district! (with Hermana Parks visiting with her parents who picked her up)
Cool! (inside the caves were two dead sea lions...I dry heaved)