This week we had intercambios with the sisters from Imperio. I stayed in our area with Hermana Tunquipa. She had just 1 week in the mission, she is from Lima, and she`s a convert! I had kind of forgotten that ALL missionaries need training when they first get in the field but she is going to be a great missionary. She asked lots of questions, is really humble, and dedicated to the Lord. I didn't take a picture but I will this week with the zone.
An elder that went home the week after Christmas came to visit with all his family, his parents and 3 siblings, and we saw them at his pensionista's house. They are from San Diego California and so cute. They went to Machu Picchu first and then they had recently started the adventures in Chiclayo. It was weird trying to just speak in english, but cool to see a happy american family!
Hermana Wood and I were using the ward directory to try to find new less actives and to get to know the members. We knocked on a door and were invited in to teach! The man`s name is Rogelio and he had a motorcycle accident 2 years ago and is now in a wheelchair. We found him reading the bible. Because he can only lift one arm and use 2 fingers, he can't flip the pages so he reads the same page a couple of times before calling for someone to flip the page. He said his near death experience changed him completely and being that close to death made him realize the important things in life. He started studying the bible and relying on God more than ever before. He has come to the conclusion that he needs to be baptized, he`s just been waiting...and then we showed up! Sweetness! Well we have taught him and his wife, Esperanzea, two times and they are so great! We are hoping for great things there. They both talk about how their life changed so suddenly. It made me so grateful for everything I have been given and for the amazing gift of LIFE.
We did another intercambio with the sisters from Pomalca this week. We were looking for a mototaxi to take us to the bus stop. We flagged down one mototaxi and the guy didn't really know where to go. Hermana Wood said, "Do you want an adventure?" Well I said no. So we waited and then called the assistants for exact directions and found a mototaxi to Pomalca. Well the sisters weren't answering their phone and we couldn't get a hold of them. So there we were, 2 lost gringas in Pomalca, walking around looking for the Mormon church. When I went to Pomalca the last time for intercambios, we never saw the church so I honestly didn't know where we were. There was a lot of dirt and really poor houses and we didn't have signal! We started walking down random streets hoping to find signal but never did. Then I remembered that my whole day in Pomalca I never saw dirt streets, it was all paved. So we walked out to the highway then headed for the only paved road that enters into Pomalca. We got then and went in to the town. The first little park looked familiar. We said a prayer and turned the corner. Standing at the corner I saw a house that looked familiar. We walked down that street then I saw the house of their pensionista. We walked one block more and we found the sister's room. 40 minutes after arriving in Pomalca, we found the sister's room. Without cell phone signal. Without asking people on the street. We found the sister's room with ``spiritual signal`` and asking God for help. It really truly was a miracle.
So Hermana Leiataua and I came back here to La Victoria and we had a great time together. It was fun being with her again. Our relationship got better and even though we didn't have many teaching opportunities we learned so much.
Jessica Alaya is a recent convert, baptized in September. She's a 31 year old single mom with a 2 year old baby boy. She is such a cutie. I don't really know how to describe her personality so I will just start with the story. My last day with Hermana Guillèn we went to say bye and she was there with a friend, Ana Rubi. We talked a little bit and she was telling us that she is helping Jessica sell salchipollo (basically sausage, chicken, chips, onions and lettuce) on the weekends. We said, oh on Sundays too? She said yes. AHHH DANGER ZONE. So Hermana Wood came and we suddenly had this responsibility of teaching a single mom who is being influenced by a really powerful and strong personality friend that she can't work on Sundays at all even if she is desperate. It has been quite the task! We have testified and testified and we are teaching Ana Rubì too, hoping she will understand but nothing seems to work! We committed them both to come to church yesterday and they did come. Hallelujah. It's such a warm feeling when someone walks into church like that. So afterwards we were walking by the street that night and she had her little salchipollo cart out on the street and she was selling...on a Sunday night. So we entered into their house and were chatting and I was really sad. And I expressed that to Jessica. Ana Rubî started defending her saying God understands, she is a single mom and she has to make ends meet, etc. I started to cry and asked if I could just explain something. I said, ``Jessica has made a sacred covenant with God and He does know her perfectly, as He does you, but he can't bless us if we aren't obedient to these sacred covenants we have made.`` I could tell Jessica felt a little bit of pressure from her friend and that she was desperate for money. I wanted Ana Rubì to understand. And she did. After she said, "Wait a second. Jessica is baptized in your church?" We all said YES and then Ana Rubì completely changed. She said, "No Jessica you can't sell on Sundays anymore. you promised God." Anyways, it was nice. I felt much better after. Everyone understands and everything is understood.
Sunday was a great Sunday. I would like to declare it my best sunday in the mission! I shared my last testimony in the ward (next week is stake conference) and I felt the spirit so strong during the sacrament and all of the classes were really good.
This week is going to be crazy busy! We relaxed today for pday because this week is going to be packed full!
My lesson of a life time: obedience.
During my mission I have learned about the importance of being obedient to our earthly parents, to our church leaders, to Heavenly Father, and to the Holy Ghost. Obedience frees us. The commandments protect us. Blessings are promised. We feel better. We must always remember that the Lord is bound when we do what he asks of us. He has to bless us. And he always does.
I had another lesson of a lifetime this week. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration.
There is a member who has grown to be like a father to me. His name is Jaime (high may). We were at their house this week and he asked me when the church was restored and I doubtingly said, "April 6th?" He didn't say anything so I started throwing out other dates and looking for it in the scriptures and going crazy! Well it is April 6th. So Jaime said, "Hermana Pilling, you need to know that the church was restored the 6th of April! And be sure of that knowledge! He invited me to kneel and ask my father in heaven if the church was indeed restored the 6th of April in 1830 by the prophet Joseph Smith. So that is what I did. And I felt good. And when I testified in church on Sunday I said those very words, "I know that the church was restored April 6th 1830 by the prophet Joseph Smith." I promise you all that a testimony is found in the bearing of it. As I said those words my heart was filled with that warm tickly feeling. I testify of this restored gospel. I know it is true.
Love you all very much.
Happy birthday to my dear brother Cale on Saturday.