Monday, November 30, 2015


November 30, 2015

So I don't really know what to talk about this week...

We found another family that really seems to want to progress... they're just never home haha. The mom and dad work all day every day so we can never go visit them at a set time. It´s kind of rough. It's a fun story on how we found them... so like a month or so ago we contacted the driver of a motokar and he told us he wanted us to come visit his family and share our message with them.  We wrote down his address and told him we'd come by that Thursday.  When we went to go find his address, we couldn't find the street he lived on and so we couldn't go visit him.  But then THAT night, we took another motokar back to our apartment, and guess who was driving it? The same guy we had just been looking for! So then he told us where is street was and we promised to come by the next week. The next week we start looking for his house on the street.  We know we have the right street but we couldn't find his house haha. We got really discouraged cause it seemed like too much of a coincidence that we contacted him twice. So we decided to ask everyone who lived on this street if they knew a Sergio. And that worked! We were able to find his house... only his wife was home. She told us that her husband had been telling her about us and that she was so happy we found her, and she told us to come by the next day. So we come by the next day... and no one is home haha.  So then as we were walking to our next appointment, the wife drives by and sees us and so we start talking to her and set up another appointment in the morning. The next morning we go and visit them and both the husband and wife were there (it was such a miracle) and they were like "we want to get baptized" so yeah we´re now working with this family, whenever they´re home.  We´re going to go visit them this week again so hopefully we can visit them at a time when they are all there!

Also this week on Saturday our stake had a service activity where we went into Iquitos and cleaned the streets.. but in proselyting clothes. So it was super confusing because we were there in white shirts and ties or dresses cleaning the streets... hahaha but it was good. The only problem was I forgot my sunscreen.... so yeah I'm basically a lobster right now.  It doesn't actually hurt that bad, only when I'm sleeping cause then its rubbing against my burn. But now I have a nice watch tan! I'm going to try to find aloe vera today in the stores but I don't actually know what its called in spanish so wish me luck finding it!

Also fantastic news: they all gave us DVDs of general conference... and mine is in ENGLISH! so I get to listen to general conference in English whenever I want! (okay well not really whenever, but when I have "time" I get to watch it! yay!!)

(Thank you to Sister Cummings for sending me a package.  I haven't opened yet I'm trying to be patient and follow the instructions on the box and not open it until Christmas, but it certainly is veryyyy tempting! even my companion is dying to open it hahaha)

Okay I love you all! Thank you so much for your examples and love and emails!
Talk to you next week!
Hermana Gurney

Week 15

November 23, 2015

So this week was kind of rough...

Remember our family of gold? Well they told us they don't  want to keep meeting with us anymore.. we´re not exactly sure why.  We think it might be because there were so many problems with getting their marriage papers.  They blamed us for that because we told them they could be married the beginning of November and now its almost December and their papers still haven't arrived. (Funny coincidence, the papers arrived the day after they told us this.)  Also apparently some guy came to their house and told them lots of bad things about the church.  We talked to the Bishop about this and he told us there's an excommunicated member who goes around telling people lies about the church.  We don't know if it was him or not, and if it was him, we don't know how he even found this family, but yeah needless to say they told us they don't want to keep talking to us.  Were going to try to go back one time this week and bring their marriage papers and remind them of the blessings they are walking away from, but we don´t know if this will even help much.  

It was kind of hard on us, but in another way I think it was actually good.  It brought me and Hermana Tituaña closer together and so now we can work harder and in more unity.

Us with Alis (in the pink shirt).  She is 14 and the sweetest girl ever!  She is going through some rough times but she started coming to church with us and reading her scriptures.  We are so proud of her!  Carol is hugging Sister Tituna.  

Us with Carol ... she is a young woman in our ward.  Teddy is the blurry face ... he kept trying to mess up our photo.
Funny ... I don't even know the little girl!

On a brighter note, we ran into missionaries for the Adventist church (I think that's what its called in English...) Anyways it was hilarious ... they just walk down the street singing about how they have the truth and Christ is coming and what not, and then they have little kids run in front of them handing out papers advertising the church... they even handed us some.  I just thought, wow there is a huge difference between their missionary work and our missionary work... we have more power and success because I know we have actually been directed by God as to how to help people.  

This week we were able to help an investigator decorate for Christmas!! I didn't think I was going to be able to decorate a Christmas tree this year, but I did! Basically this sweet sister needed help setting up her fake Christmas tree because her husband is only home at night, and so we volunteered to come help her one morning... set it up and decorate it with her kids. It was super fun.. it was a little strange setting up a Christmas tree in the middle of November, but to be honest, we have been seeing Christmas trees since the day after Halloween. Everyone here is in love with Christmas. 

Also this week we had a zone conference! so basically we spent all morning and half of the afternoon in meetings with Presidente Gomez. We learned A LOT and we now realize that we need to improve A LOT but we're working hard on that. It was also great because they combined two zones together for the conference.. so my Hermanas from the CCM were there and so it wasn't quite so lonely. It was super long and it was in a room that was air conditioned so we were all FREEZING, but then we left and started sweating again so it's all good. Haha   Another funny story, one young woman told us that her grandma said she always laughs when she sees us pass by her house because Hermana Tituaña is always sweating hard, and I just look like a doll.  It was super kind of her but I'm not sure its true because I certainly don't feel like a doll when were walking around.. I'm definitely sweating just as much as she is, but apparently i don't show it as much hahaha.

Anyways, despite our great challenge of losing our golden family, this week was actually pretty good!  We found new people, a lot of the less active people we are teaching came back to church this past Sunday, and the work is going well!

I love you all!! Happy almost thanksgiving!!
Hermana Gurney

Since Thanksgiving is this week ... I wanted to add a note that she shared with her brother Jared.  "Something that helps me be happier when I'm worrying is to make a list of five blessings or things I'm grateful for everyday. I usually write them down or tell them to Heavenly Father in my prayers. Sometimes its really hard to think of five, but I make myself do it. Little by little ... it becomes easier and easier to think of five so sometimes I change it to 6 or 7.  During the day something funny will happen and I'll be like OH this is my blessing for the day! and then I´m super happy because something good just happened! It has really helped me be happier when things are hard" 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 14

I now officially have three months in the mission! only 15 more to go....! ahhh!

So basically this week was kind of uneventful ... nothing really crazy or cool or interesting happened!

This is Yolanda.  She is very sweet and comes out with us to visit people.
She is moving and wanted a picture with us!  
We went to help this sweet elderly couple wash their clothes this week, and needless to say their "house" is really humbling.  I don't even know if I could even call it a house. It has four walls and a roof, but nothing else.  The walls are just pieces of wood that are kind of stuck together to make a wall and the roof is just a giant thing of metal.  They have two rooms, a room with a bed and another with a table. There's no oven or anything to cook with, and the bathroom is in the backyard.  It doesn't have a sink or anything, just a toilet. It was really sad... it definitely made me appreciate the house that I do have and in the United States.  So if you even find yourself complaining about your house.. remember that at least you have a sink. :)

Here is me hand washing clothes ... it's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be! 
We also went to visit a family of less actives this week, the mom and the daughters are so awesome.  They want to start coming back to church and they try to read their Book of Mormon whenever they can, but the dad is struggling.  He´s an alcoholic that keeps saying he wants to change but he can´t.  We keep telling him ... God will help you! He wants you to overcome your addiction and he will help you! It will be hard but have faith in God and yourself! and he still doesn´t do anything... he´s like "no matter how hard I try I will never change".  So we´re kind of at a loss for what to do to help him.  We´re trying to find members who at one point in their life were struggling with an addiction to help show him that it is possible, but there's not really anyone. We pray for him all the time but we can't really help him if he doesn't try to change.. at least the rest of his family is progressing and can show an example!

Our Golden family is now going to get married the 27th and baptized the 28th. We finally got all the paperwork in and were just waiting for the birth certificate of the dad to come in the mail so they can go get married.  It seems like the date just keeps getting later and later.. I hope we don't have anymore problems because we´ve been waiting for this day for like a whole two months!! 

My Spanish is somewhat getting better.. haha basically I can say what I want to say most of the time when we´re teaching lessons and talking about church things, but when we have conversations about like normal stuff, I'm clueless. But at least I can function in lessons, which is the most important thing for now. 
Two sweet little girls named Genesis and Nicole.  They are like six and four.  They are daughters of two of our recent converts.  They call us "chicas bonitas" which is just like pretty girls and the love to pet my skin and try on my glasses.  

Sorry I have no funny stories... except I guess my Spanish is funny cause everyone laughs, although I couldn't tell you why it was funny cause I didn´t understand their joke!  haha

I love you all!
Hermana Gurney

I had a couple questions ... 

Are you a adjusting to the heat?  
I don't know if I've adjusted to the heat or if I've just adjusted to sweating all the time.  When it rains it really cools down, so I love it when it rains, and in the nights its pretty cool too.  I only really have problems with the heat when we work in the mornings.  But I've really strengthened my forearms by fanning myself with the pamphlets we have hahaha.. everyone keeps telling me that Iquitos is the hottest place in the whole mission, so if I get transferred outside of Iquitos, I wont worry too much about the heat, so I'm looking forward to that! 

I asked if she eats in member's homes... 
Most people don't offer us food, sometimes members offer us dinner and I tried explaining to Hna Tituaña to explain to them that we can't eat it because I don't want to get sick, but she always accepts the food so then I feel bad not accepting it.  I usually pray and ask that the food won't make me sick before we eat it. But then after I got sick that one week, it kind of scared Hna Tituaña so now we just politely refuse and say we have a pensionista.  Most often though they offer us sodas or crackers from their store, and those were allowed to eat, so I accept those.

Week 13?

November 9, 2015

So ... this week was transfers and (drum roll please....) I'm staying in Secada with Hna Tituaña! haha That was actually no surprise since we've both only been in Secada for one transfer and she is training me, but just thought you should know.  Also they decided to split our area, and they sent in two new elders to work in half of our area.  So we lost a few of our investigators, but luckily we still have the Golden Family! ;)

Speaking of which, remember how I told you they were getting married last Saturday? Yeah didn't happen ... there's been some problems with their paperwork and its been this huge mess for us.  Now it looks like they won't be able to get married until the 21st or maybe even later.. we´re not sure. I´ll keep you updated! They still have the desire to get married and baptized, so keep praying for them!

It was pretty sweet, the other day the Mom of the Golden family told us that when we first showed up at her door she thought we looked happy, and when she talked to us she noticed that we seemed to have this light, or this happiness, that she wanted. That is why she kept talking to us.  When she went to church she noticed that same happiness in the families of the members and decided she wanted that for her family. It was so sweet because even though I sometimes can´t really talk to her, I tried to always smile and act Christ-like.  It made my day that she actually noticed that and that it made a difference!

Hmm what else... for our service this week guess what we did? No, we didn't weed a lawn, like we always do, this time we hand washed stuffed animals! It was very interesting... but there's a first time for everything! It was for this sweet family of recent converts who have two cute little girls who call me "chica bonita" (pretty girl, basically) and always come up and pet my skin.. haha. I wanted to get a picture with them to send to you, but they were at school when we went to visit them. maybe next week!  

Remember how I told you that basically everyone here is less active in the church? This week basically proved that. We contacted so many people and legit almost all of them are members.  It's pretty funny cause they won't tell you right out that they're members.  Well be like "hey, we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have you heard of this church?" and they'll be like "yeah" and we'll ask "what have you heard?" "lots of things" "well we want to invite you to church this Sunday because we know it's the true church, blah blah blah.. do you think you can come with us this Sunday?" "yeah, well I'm a member of your church"... like wow maybe you should have said that when we asked if you had heard of us.  Anyways it's pretty funny.  We´ve been working a lot with less actives this week and hopefully we can help some of them!

Hmmm... also a Hermana in our ward just came home from her mission in Chile! So now we have a returned missionary to accompany us to our different lessons, and she is awesome! I asked her if she knew an Elder Crane, because I knew he was serving in Chile but I didn't know what mission.  She said she recognizes the name but she doesn't know him... so she might actually have been in the same mission as Josh Crane haha!

Anyways ... sorry this week I also don't have many pictures cause we didn't really do anything on pday and I kept forgetting to bring my camera with me places, but I do have some with members!
Us with Estefani ... she is 18 and a recent convert.  She's always so happy and willing to talk with us!
She's awesome!
With Estefani (again) and Rahicy (a member who literally always comes out with us on visits.  She's the best) They're super cute and I love them despite the fact that they always make fun of my Spanish.  :) 

Love you all!
Hermana Gurney 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 12

Hola Hola!

So today marks the first day of my second transfer in Iquitos... I officially have complete my first transfer! ahhh! As of tomorrow, I will no longer be one of the newest missionaries in the field. 

We don't find out about transfers until tonight at 9:30, but most likely me and Hna Tituaña will stay in Secada because she´s training me and you usually stay with your trainer for 12 weeks, and also because were both new to the area. 

This week was pretty great.. partially because we were in a trio (surprise!).  Basically what happens is that the missionaries who are ending their missions who are not in Iquitos need to come to Iquitos for their last week to do paperwork and stuff.  So Hermana Jensen, (a gringa!) came from Tarapoto to Iquitos for this past week to get ready to leave.  It was pretty awesome.  She only talked Spanish to me though, which was really good because I need to practice my Spanish, but it was nice having her there to translate when I needed help. She´s also a super good missionary, like in all our lessons she just said exactly what the investigators needed to hear, and was always direct and to the point while still being loving.  Basically, we learned a lot about how to teach from her. It was also really great because then when we were in lessons I had a lot more confidence to actually speak Spanish because I knew if I wasn't sure how to say something I could ask her.  I actually surprised myself by speaking coherent Spanish without her help! Like I really saw an improvement in my Spanish skills, and I think its all due to Hermana Jensen haha. Anyways so yeah this week was pretty great. 

Hermana Jensen!

A fun spiritual experience: This one woman we were teaching was never keeping her commitments, like she wasn't reading the Book of Mormon and wasn't praying and wasn't going to church, so we went to go visit her and tell her we needed to stop visiting her because she wasn't progressing.  So we go tell her that we might have to drop her if she doesn't start reading this book. And then I bore my testimony about how some days I don´t really want to be here in Peru.. I would so much rather be in the United States, with my family, speaking a language I know, and just being in peace and comfort. But I´m here in your house teaching you, in a language I don´t speak, because I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I know that if you read this book, you will feel the same way I do.  You will feel peace, comfort, joy, and the love of God in your life. I didn´t really feel like it made a difference, but we decided to visit her another time and she had started reading the Book of Mormon!! Ahhh!! So apparently my testimony really changed something and that made me so happy! 

Also our golden family is getting married this Saturday!! ahhh!!! Well actually there has been a few problems with their marriage papers, so were hoping they'll get married this Saturday, if not definitely the Saturday after! But I just wanted to share an excerpt of our lesson the other day that just proves how golden they are: "So what is tithing?" "A way to show our love for God and our gratitude for all he gives us. We give a little bit of our money to receive even more blessings!" Like you can´t find investigators much better than that. They are perfect, i get happy just thinking about visiting them.

The Golden Family!

I do have a funny story.. We walked past a parrot the other day and so Hna Tituaña said "hola" and it responded with "hola" and then I said "hola!!" and it whistled back at me.  Like the catcalling type of whistled.  It was hilarious... even the parrots here can tell that I´m a gringa.

Me and a Parrot ... not the same one that whistled at me! haha!
Also the pictures I'm about to send are from Quistococha, which is basically just a zoo in the 
Amazon Rain Forest.  It's pretty cool, and actually pretty touristy.  It was especially cool cause we could get pretty close to the animals, since they didn't have the same protections that normal zoos have.. and it was in the jungle!  

Lake in Quistococha

Actual Piranhas

Just some cool scenery ... you can't really see me haha ... but enjoy the scenery

Swinging on a vine in the Amazon Rain Forest doesn't get much better than that!

Alright I love you all tons, hope you had a happy halloween!!
(Here halloween is on November first and it's called dia de los defuntos, all they really did was have a parade at night which we couldn't see cause it started when we were already in bed... but we got to listen to it hahaha)

Anyways have a great week!

Hermana Gurney