“Prayers in Peru,” Liahona, June 2022.
For one year, I taught English as a second language at the Universidad de Piura, in Piura, Peru. Piura was the headquarters city for the Peru Piura Mission.
The mission president, Chad Rowley, and his wife, Lisa, lived in my ward. They asked me to give English lessons to the missionaries serving in Piura. I accepted.
Using the Church’s English-language training program, I would meet with different groups of missionaries at the mission office to teach them English. It was a great spiritual experience for me to work with and get to know missionaries from South America and the United States. Weekday afternoons worked best because the city tended to be pretty quiet for missionary work until early evening.
Toward the end of my time in Piura, I was feeling homesick and worn out emotionally and professionally. One Friday afternoon, I was feeling particularly lethargic and depressed. I hoped the classes would be canceled because of missionary work, which took precedence over English lessons. That afternoon, however, that was not the case.
I left my apartment late and trudged to the mission office. As I walked through a park on the way, I prayed. I told Heavenly Father that I couldn’t endure one more minute, much less one more week. I was exhausted mentally and physically, and I needed His help.
I arrived at the mission office and went upstairs to wait for the missionaries. When they arrived for their lesson, I had no idea what to teach them. But to start, I asked one of the elders to say an opening prayer in English.
As the missionary began to pray, he said, “Please bless Sister Johnson.” Then he paused. When he continued, he added, “Please bless her to continue with the same strength as in the beginning.”
That missionary did not know I had prayed on my way to the mission office, and he certainly didn’t know what I had prayed about. But Heavenly Father did, and He answered that prayer by strengthening me.
There I was—a US citizen in Peru who was prayed for by name by a missionary from Bolivia. What a healing balm that afternoon at the mission office was. And what a powerful lesson I learned that day. No matter who or where we are—Heavenly Father hears and answers our spoken and unspoken prayers.