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"A Chance to Help My Family"

Miriam pleaded with God to provide a way to accomplish her goals. PathwayConnect was the answer

This is the second piece in a two-part series on Eduardo and Miriam, PathwayConnect students in Peru who went to extraordinary lengths to further their education.

Miriam Navarrete saw an opportunity to follow her dreams and decided to do whatever it took to reach her educational goals. For her, that meant finding a way from her rural hometown of Ayacucho, Peru, to the distant capital city of Lima every Thursday for PathwayConnect gatherings.

The only travel option was by bus — a bumpy journey nearly nine hours long one way. Miriam had to make tremendous sacrifices to attend, but in the end, she was grateful that she did.

Growth through Sacrifice

Miriam and her classmates pose for a photograph during a PathwayConnect gathering at the Peru Lima San Juan site.

Miriam and her classmates pose for a photograph during a PathwayConnect gathering at the Peru Lima San Juan site.

“I had to make a lot of sacrifices to complete the year of PathwayConnect,” she said. “One sacrifice was traveling every week to the gathering, when I would leave my children and ask my dear husband to take care of the kids for two days.”

Miriam even had to quit one of her jobs to make time for PathwayConnect, but her weekly traveling of over 16 hours didn’t overwhelm her. On the contrary, she was pleasantly surprised as she realized that PathwayConnect brought her many benefits.

“I really didn’t know the impact PathwayConnect would bring to my life. I only thought it would give me an opportunity to study and grow temporally, but when I started to have spiritual experiences each week, I understood better how this program would help me. PathwayConnect helps me link the way I live with the way I must be as a student, as a future professional, and as a daughter of God,” Miriam said.

Heavenly Father gave me this blessing of PathwayConnect because He knew the desires of my heart.

She appreciated the discipline and personal development that PathwayConnect brought to her education.

“Each week, all of us were advised to be honest and live worthily. Developing these good habits in my life and in my family has helped me grow and do all I can to do my best.”

New Skills

PathwayConnect particularly strengthened Miriam’s English language skills, helping her become fluent.

“Sharing appointments with my speaking partners and assigned peers have helped me to have better pronunciation, fluency in my speaking, and avoid errors when I want to express my ideas. I am so grateful for all my classmates, because during the gathering they shared their knowledge with me, and I had the opportunity to express what I understood from the lessons,” she said.

Miriam’s family sees her off at the train station in Ayacucho, Peru.

Miriam asked God many times for ways to help her family and gain more education, so she sees PathwayConnect as an answer to her prayers. For her, PathwayConnect has been an opportunity to accomplish deeply personal goals: “I believe that our Heavenly Father gave me this blessing of PathwayConnect because He knew the desires of my heart. I remember that during my personal prayers I always asked Him to give me a chance to help my family, and for opportunities to grow and accomplish my goals. PathwayConnect has been a blessing in my life because it has helped me discover new skills and strengths.”

Miriam appreciated PathwayConnect so much that she began looking for ways to encourage people in her ward to enroll.

“I wanted to share all these blessings with my neighbors, so I decided to teach English in my ward and motivate my brothers and sisters to study so they can receive the same blessings as me and my family.”

She now expresses gratitude to God for PathwayConnect, glad for the inspired opportunities it has provided her: “I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven because He inspired our leaders to create PathwayConnect to bless His children, not only spiritually but also temporally.”

Miriam completed PathwayConnect and now plans to study entrepreneurial management through BYU-Idaho online.

How have you grown as a result of making sacrifices for your education?