Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 28

February 22, 2016


On our last p-day, we went to the river! 

So this week we have had lots of funny moments  (well every week does, just this week I remembered to write down some of them so I could tell you guys hahaha, get ready!)

It was raining and I forgot my umbrella so a member lent me a plastic bag!  

We went and visited a sweet old lady who has a pet turtle!  It's a giant turtle and actually pretty cool, but the funny part was that this turtle had pooped on the floor ...like a lot of poop. And what did this lady do to clean it up? She brought in dirt from outside, put it on top of the poop... stepped on the poop and dirt with her bare feet, and then brought in a shovel to scoop of the poop/dirt combination and drop it outside. Hermana Inca and I were dyingggg of laughter because it was so random and hilarious hahaha. 

Also this past Saturday, they inaugurated our street. Basically, they just added these cement ditches on the sides to help irrigate the water  Because they finished, they had to have a party to celebrate, so starting at 10 o´clock at night, and ending at two in the morning they blasted music from literally right outside our window. Basically Saturday night we didn't sleep at all. It was rough. 

For part of our service hours this week, we helped a cute family move a pile of sand from the street to their front yard.
I don't really know why they needed the pile of sand ... but it's all good!!

Spiritual story-

We went to visit our investigator Karen (Esmila´s daughter) who hadn't been reading her Book of Mormon or praying and was pretty depressed the last time we saw her.  We didn't really know what to teach her...we had studied for her that morning but we were still unsure. We went and just decided to ask questions. She told us that she had gotten lazy and never really wanted to read or pray.  Well, she wanted to, but she was just too lazy to do it.  We asked her if she saw a difference in her life. She said that when she was reading and praying, everything was going better in her life and she was happy. Now she doesn't feel that same happiness and peace that she had before.  We shared a few scriptures about the atonement of Jesus Christ, how much He loves her, and how much He wants to help her.  We shared that Jesus gave us the scriptures and gave us prayer to help us be happy.  He knows that if we do those things, we will have lots of joy and peace in our lives.  We really felt the spirit in that lesson, and I'm sure she did too because we saw a little change in her.  She promised that this week she would read and pray and come to church. Then I felt like I should tell her that she has already received an answer to her prayers regarding the church but maybe didn't recognize it.. that was when she shared a dream with us, which was kinda confusing, but the main part is that there was a man from our church... not anyone specifically, just a man, who showed her a picture. He told her that in this picture is the first members of the church (or something like that) and in the picture was her grandma, who had passed away a while ago. When she shared that my companion and I felt that her grandma had accepted the gospel in the spirit world, and was waiting for her granddaughter to accept it so she could be baptized for her. We explained temples and family history and baptisms for the dead, and there was a change in her. I really feel like what we shared started to change her. We are going to visit her tomorrow to explain more about temples, and I really hope this helps lift her spirits and bring her the happiness she once had.

So yeah that was my week! It was pretty good. How's everything back home?
I miss you guys tons!!
Hermana Gurney

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 27

February 15, 2016

Whooo so this week had its ups and downs, haha just like any other week!

First off, let me tell you  a joke in Spanish!

¿Cual animal tiene lo mas pereza?
El pescado! porque todo lo que hace es "nada nada nada"

(What animal is the laziest? The fish, because all it does is "swim swim swim" or "nothing nothing nothing" ;)

Anyways stories from this week:
We were warned about a thing called fumigaciones that happens at the beginning of each year, usually in February.  A company comes and sprays this spray throughout your entire house to basically kill all the bugs. The funny thing about this company is that they just kinda show up whenever, start spraying, and you just have to run out of the house and you can't return for like 6 hours. Hermana Inca said one of her companions was in her house studying when someone knocked on the door. SO they opened it and these guys with masks and a blow-torch type thingy told them to leave and then started spraying. They didn't even wait for her companion to gather all her things and leave, they just started! Hahahaha. Another Elder told us that once he and his companion were sleeping and this company came at like 5 in the morning, opened the door (somehow...) and started spraying.. while they were there sleeping! So they had to run out of the house at 5 in the morning, and couldn't enter again until 11 o clock hahahaha. Luckily, this hasn't happened to us yet, but our leaders just warned us to ask our landlord when they're going to do fumigaciones so that we can be prepared hahaha.

We found in our area book a teaching record of someone who was never "retenido". So basically as missionaries, if we find someone who is less active, we "rescue" them, which is teaching them all the lessons in Preach My Gospel and they have to come to church 3 times. But once they're "rescued", we have to retain them, which is 11 church attendences and all the lessons repeated.  So we found a teaching record of someone who was rescued 2 years ago, but never retained, so we were like "hey we should retain him"! Turns out this person is the President of the Young Men in the district (district is the smaller version of a stake).. and has been been active for two years. So we literally just had a lesson with him where we just named all the things we have to teach him so he could be "retained".   It was super funny. He´s also a returned missionary so he´d be like "you forgot to teach me ____"! Anyways, so now hes retained! I took a picture of the paper that says he's retained because it's just super funny.

Just a random picture with a large stuffed bunny!

So yeah! Esmila came to church today.. she still doesn't want to get married. She says she knows she will have more blessings if she gets married, but she wants to wait a little longer. We dont really know how to help her have more desire to start the papers now, but were praying and hoping that she can change her mind. She told us she believes the church is true... so now we just need her to act on that belief!

Mili, our pensionista, accepted being baptized on March 5th! but she didn't come to church all three hours yesterday, so her attendance doesn't count, so she probably wont be able to be baptized that day.. but at least she wants to get baptized!!! Whoop!

So yeah that's what's going on in my life, just the usual teaching and teaching and teaching. Hope everything is going well for you guys! I pray for you everyday! I hope you're all reading your scriptures, praying and going to church!

Hermana Gurney

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 26

So this week was super hard but then it ended on a really good note.

First I got news this week from our zone leaders of a new virus that mosquitoes are carrying (I think dad told me about this last week) basically you don't want to get this virus, not because it can kill you, but because all your future children will be mutants.  We thought my zone leader was joking when he told us, but he was dead serious.  So I´ve been using my repellent a lot more than I was before... let's just pray that the mosquitoes with this virus don't bite me, cause I don't want mutant children! haha  

(Message from her mom ... Bri doesn't always receive correct information.  She was also told that the US was at war with France.  Here is the church's official statement regarding the zika virus ...  http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/missionary-department-zika-virus )

So in Peru the month of February is Carnaval... which is just a month where everyone throws water balloons at each other.  It happens everyday at night, but its really bad Sunday nights.  It's actually super bad in Iquitos.  The missionaries there can't leave their house on Sunday nights. Luckily it's not that bad in Tarapoto, so we can still leave, we just have to be super careful. I was told that sometimes the water balloons don't always have water...it can be paint, mud, or sometimes "bodily fluids".  Luckily I haven't been hit with any water balloons yet, but Hermana Fink told me that she got hit by one filled with purple paint, and she's having trouble getting the paint out! haha.  So let's just hope that I don't get hit with a water balloon this week. 

So in terms of actual missionary work, this week was kind of rough because we weren't seeing progress in any of our investigators.  They all just kind of listen to us, but none of them actually want to know if the church is true. They just kind of accept us to accept us, not to change their life. It's super frustrating cause were like "we have the message of your salvation!!!" but they still don't want to do anything. We were super disappointed this week.. we didn't know what else we could do.. We were praying and praying and then this past weekend we fasted just to know what we needed to do better so that we could see some progress. Then this Sunday, four of our investigators came to church!!! Our pensionista, Mili and her kids, Esmila and Karen (her daughters), and CINDY!!

This week our service fell through so we asked our pensionista if she needed any help.  She told us to help her cook lunch ... she was making fish (as you can see in the picture) and we helped her by making the jello! :)

Cindy is the wife (well, partner I guess, they're not married) of a less active named Jhony. (in Peru they spell John, Jhon).  Anyways, Jhony is the son of the branch president, is a returned missionary, and is inactive.  We have been visiting them since I arrived in Tarapoto.  Jhony wants to get married and start coming back to church, but Cindy hasn't wanted anything. She just listens to us to be courteous and that's about it hahaha. A few weeks ago they started praying together as a family and Jhony has started trying to read the Book of Mormon with Cindy every so often.  This past week she told us that she has noticed a change in her life, that things were a lot more peaceful in her home...and then yesterday she came to church! When she walked in, I actually thought I was dreaming, I didn't actually believe it hahaha!  Now it seems she wants to start learning more about the church :) This week were going to try to set a date for their marriage so that Jhony can get a calling in church and really help support his wife. We're going to go visit them on Wednesday, I'll let you know what happens next week :)

So basically we struggled really hard this week and then Sunday we saw the blessings! :) 
Basically what I learned is that the harder it gets ... we just need to try a little bit harder, when we give a little bit more, that's when we receive the blessings :)

I hope everything is going well back home!!
Love you all!!
Hermana Gurney
(Oh yeah, I got basically all my packages today... I got some that were sent in November haha so thank you all who sent me stuff :) )

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 25

February 1, 2016

WHOOO transfers... and I'm still in Tarapoto with Hermana Inca!!

I really thought we were going to have changes, but nope... they never called us. Hermana Jackson was with us this weekend (her companion was ending her mission and went to Iquitos for the weekend to do all the papers and stuff) and she had transfers, but just to another area in Iquitos. It's super weird because they just like switched up everyone's areas.  The zone leaders switched areas with two other elders in our zone... but all four elders are still here, just different areas. It's super strange.

Well this week our pensionista came to church! She is not a member which is weird because usually the pensionistas are members... but anyways she came to church and told us she wants us to start teaching her!   Hey maybe we'll convert our pensionista!!

What else happened this week? 

I GOT MY CAMERA BACK!!! whooo, the guy was able to fix it.. but he also said that if my camera ever falls again, or has any major hit, it'll break beyond repair... hahaha ... so I'm carrying my camera around in a package of cotton balls and I'm being super careful because I don't want to buy a new camera..

This past Monday night we had a family home evening with a less active family in our ward who have just started coming back to church.  They're the cutest. We took pictures, but they are on Hermana Inca's camera.  I'll have to ask her to lend me her camera to send them. We played this game called the cat and the mouse.  Basically you're just in a big group with two ties.. one tie is the cat and the other is the mouse. The mouse you have to tie the tie around your neck twice, and then clap twice.  The cat you tie once and clap once. If the cat and the mouse end up on the same person at the same time, that person loses. It's super funny.. and then whoever loses has to dance like a chicken and take pictures. It's pretty funny, I'll send pictures haha.

Our family home evening!  Whoo!  Their cute eight year old son gave the lesson, his name is Joseph.  His dad is on the right, Lanner.  His mom is behind him, Yuliana (pronounced Juliana).  She is super sweet.  She teaches Relief Society on Sundays and is just super cute.  The grandma is next to me ... I actually don't know her name!  Oops!  

Esmila and her daughter didn't come to church this Sunday... their cousin or someone had some meeting that they needed to be at, or something like that. They said next week they'll come. I don't know how much they'll progress.  Esmila wants to come to church but doesn't want to get married. (getting married costs A TON of money down here and I don't think she has the money) but were going to try to teach her the importance of getting married so she can become a member of the church.

This week we went searching for some of the people in our membership directory... one woman named Norma Pinchi de Pinchi.... (yes that is actually her name) to be honest, we kind of only went looking for her because her name is awesome. Anyways, we found her street and asked everyone if they knew Norma Pinchi de Pinchi (because we couldn't find her house number) and everyone thought we were joking! Anyways we then asked the President of our branch if he knew her, and he said she moved to a different part of Tarapoto.... so we will never be able to meet Norma Pinchi de Pinchi. What a sad day.

So that's kind of it! Nothing really else happened this week... just the usual offering people their salvation but being rejected (hahaha, but its actually true)!

I hope everything is going well at home! Hope you're all enjoying the nice cold weather over there!!

Hermana Gurney

Week 24

January 25, 2016


Wo this week is transfers... we´ll find out tonight if I'm still in Tarapoto for the next six weeks!!! We´re all super excited because they're adding two new sisters to the branch I'm serving in, so there will be six of us in this branch, four sisters and two elders! It's gonna be a blast if I'm still here :)

A bridge we had to cross in our area!  (JK ... we have to walk around it!)

All the sisters in our zone in our last zone meeting before transfers.

Let's see ... what happened this week... my camera still isn´t fixed... but luckily I have some of the pictures Hermana Inca took! I can't take my camera to get fixed this week in case there's transfers, but hopefully within the next week it will be fixed! 

This week was the last week of our district leader.. he goes home today! So we had a little party in our missionary correlation meeting. We basically just ate cake and drank soda haha. I brought redvines to share, and all the Peruvians were obsessed with them. They couldn't stop eating them!  We also made a little tombstone for Elder Huamanraime (our district leader) that said RIP, since he´s "dying" haha. When he saw it he quoted that one scripture from the Book of Mormon that says "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die" hahahaha!

Elder Huamanraime's farewell party!

What else? we went to visit a less active who had a giant pile of pamphlets of lesson one, and we were like "where did you get those??" because usually only the missionaries ever have them.. but apparently she bought them in the distribution center in Lima. We were actually running out of pamphlets at the time, and we asked if we could take some, and so naturally she gave us the entire pile.  So then the entire day we kept quoting James 1:5 saying, "if any of you lack pamphlets of lesson 1, let him ask of Hermana Ruth, who gives to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him".  After that it just changed into this big huge joke that we use all the time. There's this one member that always buys us food when she comes out with us to visit people, so we always said "if any of you lack food, let him ask of Hermana Maruja, who gives to all men liberally and upraideth not and it shall be given him"!  You have to find the joy in little things!  

With Hermana Ruth

Hermana Esmila and her daughter came to church again yesterday! whooo! now were going to go visit them this week and try to set a date of marriage, since Esmila is not married to her husband... the only problem is that her husband is an alcoholic who is never home and never does anything, so we don't even know if she wants to marry him, but we´re going to talk with her this week, and then i'll let you know! whooo!

With Hermana Alic and her sister Grace.  Hermana Alic lent us her house to skype with our families at Christmas.  Grace is super awesome.  She is only 18 years old and the young women's president!

This week we went searching for a member who lives up the mountain, which is where the nicest houses are, like rich people that have a vacation home in Tarapoto. Most of the houses in this area are nicer than the houses in the United States. There's only a few of them, but they all have a giant fence around them. Anyways, we couldn't find the street that he lives on, so we were like who should we ask?  The only option was to knock on the gate of these giant houses and ask someone who lives there. We were super nervous too, cause like here we are sweating to death and now were at the doorstep of the nicest house in Tarapoto. But we did it, and the lady who answer the door was super nice and helped give us directions, and then told us we could come visit her and share a message! So if I stay in Tarapoto this week, I'll get to enter her super nice house.  Basically, I learned not to be scared to knock on a door, because you never know who will answer and you never know if they'll need your help. 

So yeah, that was basically my week, hope everything is going well at home!
I love you all!

Hermana Gurney