Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 55

August 29, 2016

As you all probably guessed ... yes, I had transfers.  It was actually a really hard goodbye.  I cried a ton when I had to say goodbye to Hermana Velazquez but I know she´s doing super well back in Tarapoto!

I was transferred to.... MOYOBAMBA!!!

Welcome to Moyobama!!

It's a two hour drive from tarapoto. So this time transfers weren´t in an airplane! Moyobamba is a lot cooler than Tarapoto (like temperature wise).  When I arrived here, everyone told me about how I was going to freeze! We´re still in the jungle though ... so it's still hot! Hahahaha!

My new companion is Hermana Laura.   She´s from Bolivia and has 14 months on the mission! ahhh! It's a possibility that I will be with her when she goes home! She´s really awesome and has such a sweet heart.  She has so much love for the people of Moyobamba! I´m so excited to learn a lot from her this change!

The craziest part of changes is that I was called as the Hermana Lider Capacitadora, which is basically the sister version of a zone leader. I have to go to all these extra meetings, go on splits with the other Hermanas to help them with their teaching, and a bunch of other stuff! I'm kinda stressed because I have no idea what I'm doing! hahaha  My companion isn't a hermana lider either, so I'm just on my own! It's okay, I'm learning! 

Another really cool part is that Hermana Inca is in Moyobamba as well!  It is great to see her again and now i´ll probably be with her when she goes home in November! It's crazy how fast time goes by!

The area I'm serving in, Moyobamba 2, is the old area of Hermana TituaƱa, my trainer! This was her first area and now I'm meeting all the people she told me about!

Anyways, Moyobamba is treating me well! I do miss tons the people of Tarapoto.  I just emailed Hermana Velazquez and asked for an update on everyone back there! I'll let you know.

One fun thing we did this week was help a family make ice cream! We scooped up the ice cream in balls, but them on a cone, dipped them in chocolate, and then wrapped them up to sell! It was a super cool service! At the end, they gave us free ice cream too :)  I'll send pictures! 

Making ice cream cones with my new companion Sister Laura!

Saw this truck on the way to Moyobamba ... it says "Christ is coming soon ... prepare yourself."

Love you tons!!
Hermana Gurney

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 54

August 22, 2016

It has been a great week! It went by super fast!

I thought I´d start out by sharing a really cool experience we had with our recent convert Raiza. When she first decided to get baptized, she had a lot of opposition! Her grandparents were worried that her mom was forcing her into getting baptized and tried to talk Raiza out of it! Her grandparents have always been Catholic and didn't like the idea of their granddaughter joining the church. Vanessa (Raiza´s mom) had tried and tried to invite her parents to church, but they had no interest! Anyways, Raiza decided that she still wanted to get baptized and she invited her grandparents to attend. They came! It was quite a surprise! And they came with Raiza to church the next day, when she recieved the Holy Ghost. I guess that changed something in her grandparents! Because the next week, her grandma was at Raiza´s house when we showed up to visit them.  We were able to talk to her for some time.  She has now even accepted visits from missionaries over where she lives! We visited Raiza yesterday and she told us her grandma has been going to church every Sunday in her branch and that she wants to get baptized! We asked the hermanas that are teaching Raiza´s grandma and they told us that she keeps saying "Raiza teaches me, Raiza teaches me".  We were so proud that Raiza was able to be so strong and share the gospel with her grandma through her example! We´re excited to see how much more her grandparents progress!

We went back to the castle in Lamas!

Our District Leader "dies" or goes home today.  We bought a cake and put a RIP sign on it for our last
district meeting together!

This week we also had the privilege to help two kids get baptized for a second time... hahahaha!   So basically they were baptized when they turned eight but we´re not sure what happened ... because their records are lost! They weren't registered in the church system.  We looked for dates and stuff to recreate the records, but it didn't work out! So the Branch President asked us to teach them and baptize them again! So that's what happened last Saturday! Their names are Bruno and David and they are super cute! I'll send pictures. When they shared their testimony at the baptism, they both talked about how good they felt being baptized a second time!  Such good sports!

This Sunday it rained all morning, so naturally no one came to church! haha. Charles and Jany started praying and reading together but they never made it to church on Sunday :( We´re going to visit them tonight and hopefully help them understand the importance of going to  church... even when it rains!

Veronica and Segundo weren´t able to make it either.. we went to visit them yesterday to see how they´re doing, but they weren´t home! We´re going to try to pass by tomorrow so we can find out what happened!
But even though they didn't come to church, they are still progressing tons! We are so blessed to be able to work with these two families and I pray that they will find more joy in the gospel!

Week old puppies!!  So cute!

I love you all tons! Have a great week!!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 53

August 15, 2016

This week was crazy! So much happened! Ahhh!

This week our zone leaders once again helped us out so much. They talked to us about exact obedience. They said that sometimes we come to a level of obedience and become complacent (is that the word??) at that level, and sometimes forget that we can always be more obedient.  It totally hit me because I had become comfortable in my level of obedience.  I wasn't being disobedient, but there were always a few little things I kind of ignored. So the zone leaders asked to us to start reading the Missionary Handbook with real intent, meaning that we would look for little rules we weren´t living and change them! It really works!  Hna Velazquez and I have been working really hard to be more exactly obedient to show more of our love for Heavenly Father.  It's been awesome! We feel better about our work, and we´re just generally happier! It's great!

A sister from Lima gave us a bag of clothes.  It had these turtle necks in the bag.
We put them on at 1:00 PM ... IT WAS HOT!!

We helped a sister in the ward named Luzdina with her family history this week. It was such a cool experience. We had asked her about her family history and she always said she didn't have any names, that she had to ask her family, and she didn't know when she would see her family.  It was always kind of a "I'll do it someday" kind of attitude. So the other week we decided to teach it a little better. We were studying for her in the morning and felt that we should share a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that talks about how we can't be saved without our ancestors and them without us. I don't know what changed but I guess that scripture really changed something in her, because the next visit we had, she had found six of her ancestors' names!! So we took her to the Branch President´s house to set up her account online and it worked out great! We are going to print out two names for her to take with her to the temple in September and send the other four names to the temple! As we did it, I just felt so good inside! We are super grateful for Luzdina and her desire to help in this work! 
Charles and Jany came to church again! They are super cool! Jany said she received an answer and feels the church is true.  She says when she goes to church she feels peaceful, and doesn't want to lose that feeling ever, so she's going to go every week! It's awesome! Charles is still searching for an answer. This week were going to visit them with the Relief Society President and her family to teach them about why it's so important to have a family and get married.. hopefully we can help them solve some of their problems!

Veronica and Segundo were up Saturday night with their sick two year old... but they still came to church on Sunday! How cool are they?? We took a picture! :)

Veronica, Segundo, and their two kids!

So yeah, that was pretty much my week! 

Hope you're all doing great back home!!

Hermana Gurney

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 52

August 8, 2016

This has been a great week! So much has happened! Lets see if I can get it all in...

First off, I lost my agenda. It was a very sad day. I think it fell out of the motokar when we were going home one night. For exercise the next day, we retraced our steps looking for it, but we didn't find it... four weeks into the change and I lost my agenda!  The good thing is my companion still has her agenda so we didn't loose any valuable information!

A cute monkey we met.  He was scared of us though so we couldn't hold him.

A giant staircase we had to walk up ... you can't really tell by the picture though! 

But the week just gets better from there, don't worry! hahaha

Charito came to church! She could only stay for one hour cause the family she works for made her go to their son´s school activity. :(  We are trying to teach her about the importance of all three hours of church! If anyone has any advice about how staying three hours at church has blessed them, that would be greatly appreciated! Charito is still reading her Book of Mormon though and wants to get baptized, but we just need to work on her testimony about going to church!

Veronica and Segundo came to church yesterday! We got to visit them with some old friends from when they were teenagers who are active in our branch and it really helped them out! We had a nice lesson about the restoration and they committed to come to church and told us to visit their neighbors! Not only that, but Segundo´s younger siblings ....that live with his mom came to church... all because Segundo took us up there in his motokar that one day! If he hadn´t have done that.. we would have never found his mom´s house! They´re such a cute family! They have a four year old son named Evans (they named him after an Elder Evans that served here a while ago).  He loves going to church and just sits there without making any noise! He´s the best!

Charles and Jany came to church this Sunday too! They got there on time and stayed all three hours! (a miracle!) They seemed to really like it! They really liked the teacher of the Gospel Principles class. We got to visit them this past week with a woman in our ward and they talked forever about how obedience is essential to having a successful life. They loved it! They haven´t received an answer if the church is true yet, but were are so grateful to see their progress towards receiving one! Pray that they will receive an answer!

Erika (the niece of Felipe and Sara) keeps coming to church! ... but her family does not want to progress! They don't read or have any desire to go to church. We´re a little stumped about what to do because Erika wants to get baptized but we want her to have a strong family to support her in her conversion! We going to work really hard on finding a good friend for Erika in the church!

District meeting!

So that's it... in terms of funny stories... we came across a natural well that they call the "eye of water" and apparently it has some myth or legend that scared the Relief Society President... but no one will tell us what it is! We´re going to try to find out this week!

Love you and miss you tons! Happy first week of August!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 51

August 1, 2016

This week was a week of miracles... literally!!

One day, all our appointments had fallen though and we had no plans for the next hour and a half. So we decided to go knocking on doors. So we knocked every single door on this one street and no one wanted anything! We were a little disappointment so we decided to pray to ask where to go. We were standing outside Anita (the older but really active lady)´s house and we prayed. When we finished, we still couldn't think of a good place to go ...  when Anita´s grandson and his family showed up! We had never met them before so we presented ourselves and they let us share a message with them! Well, the grandson did, ... his wife went inside to do something and came out right when we finished teaching him.  Anyways it was a really cool moment to see how God had guided us ... to stay right where we were!!

Our Zone with our new Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Li

The Sisters with Sister Li

We started teaching a girl named Charito.  She moved to Tarapoto a few months ago to start working as a nanny for a less active´s family and to study.  She´s really cute and went once to church with the woman she works for!  She received an answer this week and said she feels like the church is true! She´s been reading her Book of Mormon and we´re super blessed to have met her.  She couldn't come to church this past Sunday.  We don't really know why though... we´re going to visit her tomorrow to see what happened!

Veronica and Segundo are these super cool less actives that have started coming to church. They have a strong testimony.   They just don't go to church sometimes because Segundo doesn't get out of work Saturday night until like 6 or 7 in the morning.  He says he doesn't want to go to church if he's just going to be sleeping the whole time. But they're progressing!  Segundo had told us that he wanted us to teach his mom, but she lives really far away.... like halfway up the mountain, and doesn't have an address. So Friday morning we decided to go looking, and legit right when we decided to start walking up, Veronica and Segundo show up in their Motokar... and they happened to be going to his mom´s house! So he took us up in his motokar and we were able to find her house! It was a great blessing.

FHE with Mercedes and her daughters ... it is a little blurry but it's all I got!!

Our zone leaders asked us to all fast and pray so that every companionship in our zone could find a family to teach that has desires to progress in the gospel. So we did ... and it was so great!  The day we fasted, we met so many new people with so many desires to know the truth! We especially met this awesome family- Charles and Jani. Jani came to church yesterday! She got there late because she had entered into a different church, and they had told her that the church she was looking for was a little bit further away, so she came walking with her two year old son and 10 year old niece and came into church right after the sacrament! It was a miracle that she made it! We found them Saturday morning... when we went looking for a contact. We didn't have any plans and so we started looking for some contacts and references, and because of that we found them! Charles is also excited to come to church. he couldn't come yesterday because he had some other commitment but has promised to come with his wife next Sunday! It's going to be great! They have lots of problems as a couple but I know the gospel is going to help them so much!
That was my awesome week! 

Fun fact... the 28th was Independence Day of Peru


They all went on vacation this weekend and ate lots of juanes again (but not as much as on San Juan) and the new president spoke too!
Have a great week!
Hermana Gurney