Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 46

June 27, 2016

So this week was.... SAN JUAN!!!!

The jungle has it's own holiday on the 24 of June called San Juan, where they celebrate San Juan el Bautista, or John the Baptist.

Basically what happens ... on the 23rd they all spend the whole day making juanes. I'll send you a picture of juanes, but it's just chicken, rice, an egg, and an olive wrapped up in a giant leaf. Usually it's in a ball shape so it looks like John the Baptist´s head.  It's a little harder to make them that way, so the juanes we were given are just like square tamales. Everyone LOVES juanes here, but honestly, they're not that good! hahaha. Anyways, then the 24th they pack up all their juanes, buy their soda, and go spend the day at the river or lake or somewhere outside of Tarapoto! 

Branch council .. someone brought juanes and papas rellenas


Elena and Edelia were making juanes when we showed up to visit them!

So basically when we went to go work on Friday... no one was home!! We walked around for about three hours with NO appointments.  It was rough, but at least that night we were able to go to a meeting with President Gomez to say our goodbyes!

This Tuesday, President Gomez ends his mission! It's a sad week.. but on that same day our new president, President Li comes.  He looks pretty awesome! He and his wife are converts that were found by sister missionaries, so apparently they have a lot of love for us sisters! I don't know when we´ll get to meet him though... I'll let you know when I do!

Also, the good (but also kinda bad thing) about San Juan is that everyone hands out juanes! We were given seven juanes! We took a picture... but in the picture there are only four because our pensionista made us each eat one at lunch (the ones that she made) and then we accidentally lost the other one.  It was funny cause they all gave us juanes but sad because we couldn't eat any of them.. we took the picture and then threw them out!  (Just a little note ... the missionaries have strict rules about what we can eat!)  We would have given them back out but they had gone bad by the time we took the picture!

Our Juanes!

So Felipe and Sara are still awesome.  They didn't come to church yesterday though, mainly because it rained and they were a little lazy. :(  We had a really nice lesson with them yesterday where we really felt the spirit and they promised to come to church next Sunday!

Raul´s birthday is today and he said he´s going to ask his parents for his baptismal permission today.  He said he's going to say it's the only thing he wants for his birthday! We´re praying that it works and he can get baptized soon! That's really the only thing he wants!  So sweet!

So yeah, that was my week... happy San Juan!!!
Love you all!! Hope you are enjoying your summer! 
Hermana Gurney

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 45

June 20, 2016

So this week was fun! Nothing really strange happened like losing water, but it was still awesome!

First off... HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!!! 

I hope all the fathers out there had a great day and were spoiled by their families!  It is also Father's day out here in Peru, but we didn't really do anything special! Most people just went out to eat as a family!

In terms of missionary work...

We decided to stop visiting Meli and her family for sometime.. we were kinda stuck in a rut... they said they hadn't received an answer but then told us they felt peace when they prayed ... and that was their answer.  It just repeated like that every lesson. We even prayed with them in the lesson to have them feel the Spirit, but they didn't recognize it. So we´re going to stop visiting them for sometime and give them a little space.  I think it will really help them notice the absence of the Spirit. 

In terms of Felipe and Sara, the kids didn't come to church because the mom got sick.  The kids did tell us they prayed and felt that the church was true and accepted a baptismal date for the 16 of July! We´re going to work really hard for that date.  They might not be able to be baptized that day if their parents don't start coming to church, but I know we can really help them this week!

Cute kids climbing the trees!

We got locked out of the church!!

We did service this week with Cesaria.  She is an elderly lady in the ward ... who is awesome. (The funny part is that her name literally means c-section!)  She had us clean her doors, which were actually really full of dirt, so we wiped off the dirt with a rag and then she handed us petroleum to wipe on the doors "to make it shine!"   I just really hope no one takes a match over there soon!!! We also swept up her dirt floors and then she told us "Wow, there's so much dirt!" and we just laughed cause, of course there's dirt... its a dirt floor! hahahaha. She really is the sweetest, I keep meaning to take a picture with her but always forget!!

Raiza downloaded her scriptures on her tablet and has been reading them like that and it's so cute! She showed us where she is and how she´s been marking it ... we were just so happy!

This week was also the soccer game between Peru and Colombia and literally EVERYONE was watching it. EVERYONE! We walked past a house and we could look in, see the score, and then keep going! We were well updated! They even set up a projector in the town square where people got together and watched the game! It was funny! I took a picture! It was awesome, until Peru lost :(

Photo of town square ... sorry it is blurry!

So yeah, that was my week! pretty good!! I hope everything is going super well back home!!
Miss you all!!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 44


So this week has been pretty crazy!

First, I would like to share some scriptures to help illustrate what happened this week-

Exodus 15:22- "So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water."

Helaman 12:16- "And behold, also, if he say unto the waters of the great deep—Be thou dried up—it is done."

So take your guesses...yup, that's right, for three days this week we didn't have water in our apartment! 

It rained super hard on Wednesday afternoon and apparently that caused some pipe to break somewhere and that stopped all water from coming into Shilcayo.  So all of Shilcayo was without water for three days. Luckily for everyone who isn't a missionary...there are some natural reservoirs of water and people went out there and brought back buckets of water. We however, were a little too busy saving souls that we couldn't go get water. ;) We almost had to resort to buying water bottles in the store and using those to shower! Luckily, the water came back just in time! 
So remember Felipe and Sara and their kids? Well, the parents had to work yesterday and didn't come to church :(  But their kids did!! They all showed up dressed nicely, and they even brought their 3 year old sister! They seemed to have a really good time.  We´re going to visit them tonight and see how much they liked it! We were so proud of them for coming on their own!

Meli keeps coming to church with her grandkids and her husband Gerardo is still travelling back and forth from their farm.  He just never happens to be in Tarapoto when it's Sunday! She's still unsure if she has received an answer, so we´re trying to work with her to recognize her answer and also to understand more of what were teaching. I know she´ll start progressing soon!

Family Home Evening with Raiza and her family!

That's pretty much all that has been going on this week.  It was a pretty fun week! We hope to find new people this week and I know it will be awesome!!!

One last thing- my new favorite scripture, I wrote it on my agenda for this change...

Doctrine and Covenants 6:33 - " Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward."

It's a great scripture that reminds us to always do good, cause if we do good, we will be blessed!  I've also learned that numbers (baptisms) don't reflect the missionary.  As long as you try your hardest, God will bless you the most ... that could be in baptisms, or it might not be, but what is important is that you try.

Dad's car showed up at the hospital in La Banda!

Awesome View!

Love you all! Have a great week!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 43

June 6, 2016

So, the moment you have all been waiting for....I didn't get transferred!  hahaha!
Three transfers in Shilcayo with Hna Velazquez! I guess these transfers were the time of not changing anyone because only one companionship in my zone had transfers!!! and there are four companionships that have been together three transfers now.

My Zone!

The Elders wanted us to pose as Special Forces ... not sure why?  

Anyways so Shilcayo is pretty awesome ... this week was elections again! Last time, they narrowed it down to two candidates and yesterday they decided between the two. So there wasn't church again yesterday :(

The new president of Peru is... PPK! I have no idea what his real name is, but everyone calls him PPK and I don't even know why hahaha.
This week we had a really cool miracle... in the branch directory there was a couple named Felipe and Sara and we decided to go looking for them the other day.  Their address didn't exist and the the people in the neighborhood didn't know them, so we gave up looking for them since we had no way to find them! Then this past week we walked past a man with his little daughter and Hna Velazquez felt like we should contact him, so we did. We started talking to him and he told us that a long time ago he attended church there. Then I felt like I should ask if he was baptized in this church, which we usually never do in contacts, but we asked and he said yes! So we asked him his name and he said Felipe! How crazy is that! So he gave us his new address and we´ve started visiting them! They were baptized a looooong time ago, maybe 10 years ago when the Elders came to visit them. They were baptized the same day that the Elder that found them was transferred, They felt pretty discouraged and they just stopped coming. Now they have three kids and are raising their niece who vaguely remember church and have never been baptized! The second time we visited them, we came in and their kids said "This week, we´re going to go to church!" without us asking them! Of course, then we had to explain that there is no church this week because of the elections, and they'd have to wait a week hahaha!  We feel really blessed that we found them.  

We have been working really hard with a recent convert of two years named Yetty, who is the only member in her family and recently hasn't really been coming to church. We don't really know what's going on with her, but she always accepts us and loves our visits! We have asked her for referrals all the time, but she always says she doesn't know anyone.  So we invited her to pray to know who we should share the gospel with, and she said she would. This week we went to visit her and she said that she thought of a lady that lives nearby and she used to visit with the previous missionaries.. so we went and contacted this lady named Rosa Mary and she is super cool! She and her husband are looking for a religion to dedicate themselves too, so we´re super stoked to start working with them. As we left, Yetty told us about more people nearby that she knew! She ended up giving us a ton of references that have tons of promise!! It totally animated her to share the gospel more and she says she'll come to church with us this Sunday! That was a miracle! So all of you who say you don't know anyone to share the gospel with when the missionaries come over.. pray about it! and someone cool will come to your mind :)

This week I was reading a conference talk by Dieter F Uchtdorf and I really liked something he said... "Many of the things you can count, do not count. Many of the things you cannot count, really do count". I think that is a great way to live life.  Many times we stress about what other people think or see about us, but it is exactly that kind of thing that does not count. What really does count is things like how much we love and help one another. I would challenge all of you to try and do something to serve a friend or family member this week, and you will really feel a whole lot better :)

Love you all!!
Hermana Gurney