Tuesday, March 29, 2016


March 28, 2016

Happy Easter! or Feliz Pascual!

We were really looking forward to church this week ... because it is Easter ...and everyone goes to church on Easter!  But then it rained all night and hardly anyone came.  It was super sad.  Our pensionista was talking about it and said "They lack faith!"  She is very bold and always goes to church no matter what and she says that is the only reason that they get by.  

I'm doing well ... my companion is great!  She's helping me a lot with my Spanish.  She can translate for me word for word  Before I had to try to describe the word I was looking for in Spanish.   Our area is doing okay... when we arrived... there were literally no investigators.   Now we have a few... we just need to find them in their houses! Whenever we go, they're not home! We have such bad luck.  Slowly by slowly we'll start seeing a change out here.  The branch is so sweet and literally love us, so that really helps that we have so much support from the ward members.

Entrance from Tarapoto to Shilcayo.  You have to cross a river to get to Shilcayo!

So we met the branch president´s family this week- he has three kids. The oldest is 16 and her birthday is in December. (like tyler!) The second is 13 and his birthday is in March (like jared!) and the youngest, is 9 and her birthday is in September! (like kyle!) so basically his three kids are the long lost twins of my family hahah. 

We also met an investigator (he has been an investigator for a whole year) who's twelve years old and the only reason he hasn't been  baptized is because his parents won't let him get baptized in a different church until he is 18.  When I saw his teaching record I was like "why were they teaching a 12 year old??" Then we met him and he is the most mature 12 year old I have ever met. He has read the Book of Mormon four times in the past year.  He told us about a vision that he had that told him the Book of Mormon was true.  He comes to church literally every Sunday, without fail.  He asks the deepest doctrinal questions ever. When we said bye to him, he was like "this week is the week of Easter... I feel like I'm going to have a vision tonight" and then walked back into his house. Hermana Velazquez and I were just dying.  He's already more spiritual than we are.. and he's 12!!

We were able to go listen to the General Womens' conference this weekend! (You can watch at www.lds.org)  Even though it was in Spanish, I understood basically everything.  Last time I watched, I didn't understand anything.  It was so great... they talked a lot about serving others! So I'm going to try to start finding more ways to serve in small ways. I hope you were all able to watch it, cause it was amazing! If not... get prepared for General Conference this upcoming Saturday! whoo!!

Coconut water!!

hermana gurney

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Week ... actually I don't know ...32?

March 21, 2016


So okay this week was full of finding new people, finally meeting the members, struggling to find our way around areas that aren't on the map, and living through a TON of rain.

The view from the roof of our house!

Since last Sunday was district conference, we didn't even actually meet the members of our branch, because we were there in a huge group!  This week we had a branch meeting and we finally met everyone! It's actually awesome being a missionary because it gives you an excuse to just go talk to random people and they don't think it's weird!  We met a ton of members.  This branch hasn't had sisters for three months and so when we came everyone was like "We finally have two sisters again! God has sent us two angels!" It's super sweet.  Literally everyone says we're little angels.
This week were able to do a little reference inception... so basically when we contact someone and they live in another area, we write down their address and give it to the missionaries of that area.  It counts as a recieved reference for them. So a little while ago in Partido Alto, we met and taught a girl named Samantha who was visiting family in Partido Alto.  She was super cool, she even took out a notebook and started taking notes when we were teaching. BUT, she lives in Shilcayo.. so we gave the reference to the Elders of Shilcayo.  So ... now I was just transferred to Shilcayo and the Elders hadn't contacted my reference.. so I went and contacted my own reference! haha  Anyways, she's super great ... she said she had prayed to know if it was true but not that sincerely, so she's going to try again to get an answer.  She told us she would come to church yesterday but then didn't come :(  I hope she comes next week!
We met a less active that has some mental issues ... she went through a really traumatic experience three years ago and then a few months ago she fell down the stairs and hit her head. She is a little different but she's HILARIOUS.  She just talks and talks and nothing she says really makes sense but she's reading her Book of Mormon and started coming to church again. It's pretty great!  The other day she told me the boy she is in love with is named Daniel and she thinks he is  my brother because he has my skin color.  Then she told us that Daniel has a clone that sometimes takes her stuff.  She is so loving though.  She always gets so excited when we go visit her and tries to give us stuff.  She is honestly my favorite person to visit. I'll have to take a picture with her for you guys.

So a few weeks ago I said I was going to send cool scriptures every week.  I forgot to do that last week, but I remembered today!

My scripture is in Matthew 13:55-56... it says the names of Christ´s siblings! That's soo cool!!!

So yeah that was basically my week... I hope everything is going well at home! Hope you're all preparing for Easter! whoooO!

Love you tons!!!
Hermana Gurney

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Week 31

March 14, 2016

Here it is ... the moment you've all been waiting for (haha) ...TRANSFERS!!!

So yeah, I had transfers and so did Hermana Inca.  They closed my area in Partido Alto, just like they did in Secada with Hermana TituaƱa. It's kinda my curse here in the mission. :)

The good thing is I'm still in Tarapoto.  I had a small change... to La Banda de Shilcayo. It's like a mix of Partido Alto and Secada. It's the poorest part in Tarapoto, but it's still richer than where I was in Iquitos haha.  In some ways, it's nice that its poorer cause the people here are much more humble and much more receptive... they let us in and want to listen to us to change their lives. It's pretty great. Also my area is not quite as hilly as Partido Alto, so my legs are given a little bit of a rest :) 

So not only did I just have transfers to Shilcayo... but I'm opening an area. So basically there were elders here before and now they're sending in two sisters ... me and my companion.  You wanna hear the best part? My companion is new. I'm training her.  Well, okay she has one transfer in the field, but I'm finishing her training.  So basically ... I was given a ton of responsibility and it kinda stresses me out sometimes, but it's okay, I'm learning.

My companion is Hermana Velazquez. She is from Las Vegas!  Her parents are from Mexico, so she already speaks Spanish and English fluently. So that's pretty cool. She's helping me a lot with my translations haha. 

Me and my new companion, Hermana Velazquez

My new apartment.  It is really nice ... super small .. but nice! 
We have a lot of work to do here in Shilcayo... there's lots of missionaries who have baptized in this area within the last two years, but almost half of them are inactive now. So were going to try to work to reactivate all of them.

The area is kinda struggling.  There's not really anyone progressing, but we've found some awesome people that have made of progress. Including one woman that I actually taught in Partido Alto but just once.. she was visiting one of our investigators.  She lives in Shilcayo. We found her yesterday and we're going to go teach her tomorrow.  It's super cool!  

The members are awesome here ... they always want to accompany us, they always give us referrals, help us find everyone in our area book, and introduce us to their neighbors.  They like to show us around which is great because they help us not get lost.  

Anyways, there's not really any funny stories this week, just us getting lost all the time and having to call our district leader to give us directions back to our area.  Also I played the piano yesterday in stake conference (well, its not a stake here, it's a district, but I just call it stake conference) and I forgot to turn off the volume and I accidentally hit the keys in the middle of some guy´s talk.  It was super embarrassing, but that's okay i lived.

Oh yeah, we also met a member who has the best name.. you ready?  Piere Jeffembert Hildebrandt Melendez.  He's Peruvian, but his great grandfather was from Germany. So that's where he got the last name Hildebrandt. He said his mom liked the name Effembert, so she decided to change it a bit and make it his middle name... so thus his middle name became Jeffembert. He didn't think we could remember his name, but we did :) hahaha

We locked ourselves out of our apartment and our landlord is on vacation right now.  No one knows when he'll get home... so we had no hope of getting back into our apartment. We said a pray in the street that our landlord would answer his phone so he could tell us what to do. Thankfully, he did and his girlfriend came home from work to get the keys out and let us in ahaha. It was kinda a stressful few moments, but we lived... and now we check five times for our keys before we leave the house :)

An example of the places where we send our weekly emails.
Hermana Inca took this picture because we were laughing that we didn't have hardly any room to type!

Love you tons! Have a great week!
Hermana Gurney

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Week 30

March 8, 2016

Well hello there again!

Today marks the last day of transfers. AGAIN. I feel like yesterday I arrived in Tarapoto and now I already have three months here. CRAZY.  I'm actually super scared for transfers. It's the most likely that Hermana Inca leaves Tarapoto and I stay with a new companion ... but transfers are always weird, so we don't know what is going to happen!!

So I decided that every week I'm going to send you guys a cool scripture. Something that I read this week that I thought was interesting or funny or I don't know.This morning I was reading in Luke and I read Luke 8:2, which tells us that THE Mary Magdalene was possessed by seven devils. I did not know that before and it was pretty interesting when I read it. So there you go, scriptural fun fact for the week.

So I don't really have any funny stories this week... just kinda cool things that happened ... 
1. I got to hold a baby monkey!!

This is the 2nd baby monkey I saw this week.  This one didn't let me hold it though.  

2. We went to the waterfalls and it was the coolest thing I've ever seen ... I'll send pictures!

After we walked behind the waterfalls!

3. My pensionista's dog is pregnant and is going to have puppies in a few weeks... so if I don't transfer, I'll get to take pictures with newly born dogs! whoo!

This week we had an appointment with a contact that we made named Veronica. The contact seemed only kinda interested, so we weren't going to go. Something told us to just go ...so we did. We arrived a little late and she had been waiting for us! She told us that she wants to learn about our religion because she wants to change her life. She has listened to the Jehovah's Witnesses, Evangelists, and Adventists as well ( I think that is what they're called in English hahaha) but she was confused because all of them say they are the true church.  So we shared what Joseph Smith said when he was confused, and she really related to it. We invited her to pray to know if the church was true and she said she would do it. We're going to go visit her today, but all I know is that she was prepared to receive our message. I feel very grateful, that in a small way we were able to follow the Spirit to find her ... we didn't notice it was the Spirit in the moment, but we followed it anyways. I'll keep you updated on her, if I stay in Partido Alto another transfer! haha 

With Geraldine ... she just sent in her mission papers.

Yeah, what else happened?

I don't know really ... this week just kinda happened really fast and now it's over, and I feel like it just started the other day!

I hope everything is going well at home, I pray for all of you everyday!
Pictures are on the way..

Hermana Gurney

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week 29

February 29, 2016

So this week our internet is REALLY awful... we couldn't enter the normal internet place because all the elders beat us to it... so we had to go to the backup internet place, where the internet was slow... but that was full!  So we found another internet place that has a bunch of computers in their attic... so were literally sitting right now in the attic of some random shop on these old computers trying to get the internet to work!  

So this week we went to teach a woman named Josefina, who is really sweet. We always come at three to teach her but everytime she sees us shes like "oh no no no no, I'm about to leave! I don't have anytime!" and then we ask "ten minutes?" and she says "yeah, come on in"!  It's hilarious. Sometimes we don't even have to say anything ... she freaks out for a few seconds and then let's us in!
We also went to find a less active in our directory and when we arrived, his door was open.  From the doorframe, we could see two beds, and the girl lying in one bed started talking to us.. we asked if "David" was home and she was like "nooo, he left a few minutes ago, he's not here!" When she said that the person in the other bed got up and started walking towards the door... so the girl was like "Oh, there is he is! He is home!" as if she didn't know.... hahaha but david was pretty awesome and wants us to come visit all his family.  
This week I was getting out a motokar (like I do every week) and a group people started yelling at me in English ... which happens a lot, but today it was more annoying than usual.  I don't remember why but I kinda got really frustrated and I turned to them and just said really loudly, "COMO YA VUELTA; NO HABLO INGLES" (como ya vuelta doesn't even mean anything, it's just stuff they say in the jungle).   They all started laughing and the guys that were yelling at me got super embarrassed and Hermana Inca was like "Yeah... she doesnt speak English" and then we walked away and just started cracking up. I probably should have been a little nicer, but it was super annoying and I just couldnt handle it anymore hahaha. Hermana Inca told me my accent was actually really good and I didn't sound like a gringa when I said it, so woohoo yay for me!

A typical motokar

I got to hold a Parrot!!  Whoo!!! 

Yesterday it was 8 o'clock and all of our appointments fell through.   We didn't really know what to do. We wanted to have another lesson with a member because we didn't have many for this week, but the appointment we had with a part member family fell through.  We were kinda disappointed, but we decided to go contacting in this area. I looked around and the street name "oriente" came to my mind  I don't really remember how or why, I just saw the street and thought "Yeah, we don't know anyone on that street, let's go there" !  There was no one outside their houses because it was late at night and my companion and I were kinda bummed... but then I saw a house that was a little poorer than others, and I said, "They must be humble, let's contact that house".  We knocked on the door and a teenage girl answered and said she would call her mom to come talk to us. She called her mom and we waited for like 5 minutes and she still wasn't coming.  I said to Hermana Inca, "Let's just go" but she said, "No, let's wait a little longer". Finally the mom came to the door and was like "come on in!" before we even introduced ourselves hahaha. Anyways we talked to her  and it turns out everyone in her family are members in Iquitos.  She's the only one who isn't because she used to travel a lot, and she never had time to attend church and learn more. Then she told us that her mom had come to stay with them for sometime in Tarapoto... who is a member! Out came this elderly lady who was super sweet and joined us in the lesson! My companion and I were just super shocked.. because we never thought we would have another lesson with a member in the hour left that we had, and we never thought we would find someone with such promise! We thanked Heavenly Father aftwerwards for letting find this sister and we hope that she can grow in her knowledge of the gospel!

Family Home Evening with the Perez Reategui family.

Family Home Evening with the Pisfill family.  Their nine year old son is getting baptized in March.

So yeah that was my week, it was pretty good!
How's everyone enjoying the cold back home?
I love you tons!!
Hermana Gurney