Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 37

April 25, 2016

Wow April is already coming to an end, and I feel like it just started yesterday!! Where did the time go??

So this week was super UNEVENTFUL ... literally no one in the zone had transfers except for two missionaries. So I am still here in Tarapoto, getting to almost 6 months in this lovely part of Peru and I am still with the lovely Hermana Velazquez. Sorry if anyone was looking forward to any crazy changes.

Still with the lovely Hermana Velazquez!  The selfie is with Ariana, a member of our ward and super cute!

So this week we learned something about our pensionista´s daughter... apparently she and another member, Elena, went to get their future reads.  The fortune teller told Elena all these nice, happy things about her future life, but told Angely (our pensionista´s daughter) that she had a very sad future.    Apparently that scared Angely enough that she started coming to church EVERY WEEK, without lacking a day! HA!

Our twelve year old investigator, Raul, constantly saves the day! He lives on this street where literally everyone is a member or an investigator.   There's no inbetween. There are two recent children converts that have stopped coming to church.  Raul has taken the initiative (without our suggestion) to go and make sure these two converts are awake so that they can start getting ready for church. THEN, he goes and passes by one of the families we´re teaching and brings their kids to church.  (We are trying to work with their grandma Meli (who is raising them) so that she with come to church WITH her grandkids.)  So Raul brings his little sister and these two kids to church. The best part is they get there EARLY too.  Our most faithful investigators are four children!  We took a picture with them this week.

Our four faithful children!!  The two boys on the left are Jhol and Alex, the grandchildren of our investigator.  The girl in the middle is Raul's sister.  The boy with the Book of Mormon is Raul!  The other little girl in pink is the YW's President's daughter.  

The best news of the week is our new investigator we found- Lizbeth. SHE IS SO COOL!!! She's actually the sister of one of my investigators back in Partido Alto! Fun little connections. She is looking for peace in her home and we know that the gospel is going to help her. She originally told us that she works on Sunday mornings, selling food in the market because that's the day that you gain the most money.  After we taught her a little bit about putting God first and the Sabbath, she decided to go to the market on Saturday and came to church with us yesterday!!! She did get there late but we were SO happy to see her!!!! She came with her 7 year old boy who just sat quietly throughout the entire meeting! She also told us she has never been baptized and wants to find a church for her and her sons to get baptized in!!! We´re going to go visit her today and were going to talk to her about maybe a date for baptism...  I know she´s going to be so willing to make changes in her life!!!!

So yeah, that's my week, hope everything is SUPER DE DUPER at home, talk to you all in MAY!

Hermana Gurney

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 36

April 18, 2016

So this week was SUPER STRESSFUL

We had Raiza´s baptism planned for this past Thursday at 10:00 in the morning. Everything was good ... the speakers were going to be there, we had just enough priesthood holders, ... everything was golden. Monday night we are told us that President Gomez and his wife were coming to Tarapoto to have a zone meeting, and we needed to be there Thursday morning from 9 until 1.  We had to call everyone again and move the baptism to Friday morning at 10. Everyone moved things around in their schedules and it all worked out to be Friday.

Thursday after the meeting with Presidente Gomez, Sister Gomez told all the hermanas that we had a meeting Friday morning from 8 to 11!! So we went and talked to Presidente about our baptism being scheduled that day, and he was like "well, Hermana Gomez prepared this whole talk for you guys, could you move your baptism to 11?" So were like, okay, well see what we can do. 

We call EVERYONE again, they can all do it, and it's great...until three hours later when one of the speakers and the guy who was supposed to baptize Raiza call us and tell us that they won't be able to make it at 11.  So we went to visit Raiza and her family and ask if it would be okay if someone else baptized her, but she was kinda shy and didn't really like the idea of someone she doesn't know baptizing her. Thursday night we called everyone AGAIN and scheduled the baptism for SATURDAY morning at 10. Whew!  It turned out all right!  Raiza´s dad, who doesn't want much with the church, and her grandparents were able to come.  It was a really good experience. Her grandparents aren't members and they said that every time they're in Tarapoto (which is like once a month) that they will come to church with Raiza. That was pretty awesome!!

My previous companion, Hermana Inca, basically made my dress.  I picked out the fabric.
She cut it out and hired someone to sew it!

I don't know if I told you about it, but we moved a few weeks ago, and now were living with our pensionista and it's awesome. Her name is Janeth and she is HILARIOUS... she made peanut butter the other day which was pretty awesome.  When she told us she was like "so I made butter.... of peanuts. It's like you take peanuts and mush them together and it becomes this butter. It's called peanut butter. Lots of people here put it on bread and eat it. What crazy things they have here in the jungle!"  We didn't have the heart to tell her that we all know what peanut butter is and that they even sell it in the stores here.  

So yeah, basically that was my week! Tonight is transfers, which is going to be crazy! I'll let you know next week if I'm still in Tarapoto!! 

Hope you all have a fun week!! Talk to you soon!!!
Hermana Gurney

(cool scripture of the week- Romans 1:30- apparently disobeying your parents is just as bad of a sin as some other things!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 35! Whooo!!!

April 11, 2016

So this week was Peruvian elections!  That means that everything closes on Sunday and everyone has to go vote in the morning. It's illegal to have meetings or anything that could prevent people from voting.  There's also a fine here, so if you don't vote you have to pay 80 soles. To make it worse, if you're from Lima but living in Tarapoto ... you have to go to Lima to vote. So lots of people went travelling this weekend so they could go vote. Some people decided it was cheaper to just pay the fine and stayed home though. So all this means that there was no church yesterday! It was super weird not having church... especially when we invited people to come.  We were like "every Sunday at 9!" and then were like wait, this week there won't be church! hahaha!

They also announced this week that the elections were a tie??, so everyone has to go vote AGAIN in June. So in June there will be another Sunday full of travel and no church! 

Do you remember Piere Jeffembert Hilderbrandt Melendez? I think I wrote about him cause he's hilarious and his name is awesome.  Anyways, this week he got his mission call! He's going to Colombia Bogota North, and leaves in July! It was super funny cause we went to go visit him and his family.  When we showed up, his mission call had just come and all his friends were over.  So he opened it with us there! It was cool.. we took a picture! 

We met this sweet older woman named Esperanza de Jesus Luna ... which literally means Hope of Jesus Moon.  She is the sweetest! She doesn't really understand much... we asked her if she had any questions about Joseph Smith and she asked "So are we all going to resurrect when we die?" and there was a few other random questions.  But she really is the cutest. She promised to come with us to church next week and wants us to keep visiting her.  We don't really know if she in interested just for our company or because she really wants to get to know the church.

This week we have a baptism!!! Remember those cute little girls I took a picture with last week? The 9 year old, Raiza, is going to get baptized. No one in her family is a member.  Her mom really wants to get baptized and can't because she is not married.  We really think that if her husband comes to Raiza's baptism, it will soften his heart. We´re super stoked. 

Also this sweet less active Luzdina told us that since we started visiting her it helped her realize the importance of going to church before everything. She used to travel to her farm on the weekends to make sure things are going well, but now she says she'll never go to her farm on Sundays because her first commitment is God. It made us super happy to hear that she wants to make these changes!

So yeah, that's my week, hope everything is going super de-duper at home!!
Hermana Gurney

(No pictures this week ... the computer wouldn't recognize her camera)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 34

April 4, 2016

So yesterday, they called me at 5:00  in the afternoon and told me I had an emergency transfer to PULCALLPA!  So I had to pack up my bags super fast, run to the airport, and now I'm here in Pulcallpa!


Hahaha ... but actually in all honesty, my zone leaders did call me on April Fool's Day and tell me I had emergency transfers and I almost died of a heart attack!  I didn't want to leave Shilcayo!!

I did move this week.  We changed pensionistas so we moved to live with her.  We're now living a lot closer to everyone in our area.  It's a better change. We live with Janet and her family.  They are members but don't always attend.  I think having us live there is really going to help them.  

So this week was cool. It was General Conference! It was a super fun weekend..I got to watch almost all of it in English! The first half of the first session was in Spanish, but that's okay, because the majority was in English! It's kinda funny in that when I didn't understand Spanish, I watched it all in Spanish, but now that I understand Spanish ... I watched it all in English! hahaha
Anyways ... it was awesome, I loved conference!  I wish we had it every weekend! You just learn so much! 

We also all shouted for joy when they announced the new temple in Lima Peru!!!! That is going to be so awesome!!!!  When they said "quito" Ecuador, we all thought they said Iquitos, which would have been cool, but that's okay, Lima is just as awesome!

So a funny story from this week ... we were walking next to a river, which kinda had a little bit of a slope to lead down to it.  We were just walking on the road next to it and we walked past an elderly lady and said "buenas dias!!!" She looked at us and basically said "I'm going to go to the bathroom".   My comp and I looked at each other and we were just like "okay?" and we just kept walking.  Then we heard a scream, we turned around and the lady had apparently tried to walk down to the river, but fell down the slope! Luckily there were two men right there who ran down to help her up!  It's kinda bad but we thought it was pretty funny!    

We have been working with a woman named Vanessa.  She has been an investigator since August or September, basically my whole mission! haha  She is so strong! She brings her two daughters to church every Sunday, she reads her Book of Mormon every day, she always prays, and has a stronger testimony than many of the members.  Anyways, she hasn't been baptized cause she isn't married. She wants to get married but her husband doesn't want to. We've tried teaching him, but he rarely listens to us and doesn't really want anything with the church. So we prayed and fasted to know how to help this family.  Last Tuesday we went to visit them and the mom told us,  "I was thinking about how to help soften my husbands heart, and I want my daughter to get baptized". Her daughter is 9 but it is usually best to baptize kids with their parents, so we were a little hesitant.  Vanessa feels like if her daughter gets baptized, her husband will attend, and he will feel the spirit there. Her daughter will then have the Gift of the Holy Ghost and will be able to bring that gift to their home. Her daughter's name is Raiza, and is the cutest little girl ever. She also really wants to get baptized and has told us that she prayed and felt that the church was true! So not this Saturday, but the next, Raiza is going to get baptized!  We prayed a lot about it and we feel this will really help her family progress!! Lets hope everything works out logistically!

Vanessa and her cute daughters!

Last Pday we visited El Castillo de Lamas ... (pictures below).  We were told that a member of the church in the Aeropuerto branch decided he wanted to build a castle... so he told all the other members he was going to go by a farm that everyone could help him buy, and it would be like a branch farm. Everyone would be able to have all the fruit and stuff that is grown there. So all the members pitched in and gave him some money for this farm... but then he took all the money and built a castle. Then he moved and stopped going to church.  It actually caused this huge problem in the Aeropuerto branch but it's all solved now.  I'm actually not sure if that's true, but that's the story everyone tells!

So that was my week! Hope everything is going well at home!
Love you tons!!
Hermana Gurney