WOW everyone sooooooo much happened this week! But really there is one theme that ties it all together: I have gained a stronger testimony of the plan of salvation and that Heavenly Father has a specific and individual plan for ME and for YOU and for EACH OF US. Here goes:
1) Heavenly Father truly is guiding His missionaries. Even on days that we feel like nothing special or significant has happened, somehow we helped someone just the way they needed. We might not recognize it but they do and Heavenly Father does. This week Hermana Peel and I felt really prompted to visit one of our menos activos, Theresa. She was one of the original members of the church here in Pacasmayo but she and her husband and most of her children has since fallen inactive. We hadn’t visited her in a while but we decided to see her and to teach her about the temple and encourage her to make the temple her goal. So we went over there to visit her and while she was there, her husband, who we usually don’t see too often, was there. We invited him to sit with us but he didn’t want to. Looking back I wish I had pushed him more, I wish I had invited him just once more to sit with us, because I’m afraid that maybe because of me he met our Maker a little less prepared. Maybe I could have prepared him more. But I know he was listening to our message, even from the other room even if he wasn’t sitting with us. In retrospect, at least we prepared Theresa. We taught Theresa about the temple and we reminded her that she and her husband are sealed and because of that they and their children will be together forever if they are righteous. We were there late that afternoon and not even two hours after we left, Theresa’s husband unexpectedly passed away. He had gone into his bedroom to change and while he was in there he collapsed on the bed and started throwing up. Theresa ran in to see what was the commotion and called an ambulance. The ambulance came and they picked him up but on the way to Trujillo he passed away. Theresa said it was quick and unexpected and painless and that he didn’t suffer. He was only 69. It was really quite unexpected on all fronts. Milagros, Theresa’s daughter, called us the next morning and told us what happened. We rushed over to their home as soon as we could. They were holding a wake when we got there…I’ve never been so close to a dead body. His casket was open and everyone was seated around it mourning. Hermana Peel and I comforted Theresa and Milagros. It’s crazy how things like this happen on the mission and all day I just wanted to call my parents and tell them what happened but I couldn’t. I’ve been down here in Peru and no one even knows. Anyway, Theresa is handling it really well. She understands that they are sealed so they have that promise. I just hope and pray that Hermana Peel and I did our job right…we were there with him just hours before it all happened. I can’t believe that.
2) On a happier note, CAMBIOS! Drumroll please…I am staying in Pacasmayo! Hermana Peel is going to Casa Grande, about an hour south of here (land of the sugar cane). I am getting a Latina companion, woohoo! I love Latinas! Her name is Hermana Garcia and she and I actually were in the CCM together. She just finished her training too, in Cajamarca, so she and I will be co-companions here in Pacasmayo! She is Mexicana and super adorable, she has the biggest smile and great dimples and wow I am just so excited to be with her and to show her around Pacasmayo! I pick up Hermana Garcia tomorrow down in Trujillo and then the work presses on from there. Vamos a hacer la obra (chócala!)! This wasn’t what I was expecting for cambios AT ALL, but I know I know I know it is the best plan that Heavenly Father has for me. Even when our plans work out, His ALWAYS do, and His are ALWAYS better!
If anyone gets anything from this email this week I just hope you all remember that the Plan of Salvation/Happiness/Redemption is REAL and TRUE and COMPLETE and that His plans for us are individual and specific and perfect and better than any plans we have for ourselves. I love you all!
Have a great week!
Love, Hermana Butikofer
I have included a few pictures from my week.