Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 64

October 31, 2016

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!  So to celebrate Halloween... SURPRISE! I'm in Iquitos.  LONG  STORY but basically
remember how I said that Elder Godoy was coming to visit us?  He came last week and it was great! but apparently very last minute, he told President Li that he wanted to meet with all the sister leaders and zone leaders in Iquitos on Friday.  So the poor secretary ... very last minute... had to buy plane tickets and ...very last minute... I was informed I had to go to Iquitos. Due to everything being last minute, I've been here since Thursday night and I'm not going back until Tuesday night! ...which also means I missed Jhonny`s baptism :(((  But I'm dealing with it okay.  Hermana Laura said she took a picture and left a space for me to photoshop myself in hahaha. 

Jhonny's baptism!!

Fun fact- because the tickets were bought so last minute, we had to fly from Tarapoto to Lima, and then from Lima to Iquitos!  We had about an hour to spend in the Lima airport, so what did we do? BUY DUNKIN DONUTS!!! It's been over a year since I've eaten Dunkin Donuts and let me tell you, they were DELICIOUS!!!!

Reunited after a year!
So this week in Iquitos, I get to stay with and work with two hermanas... and one of them happens to be Hermana Gillingham!!!! Whhooo! It's been awesome! I finally get to hang out with her after so much time!
Happy Halloween!!

So let me tell you about Elder Godoy...  he is from Brazil, but he speaks Spanish AND English very well! And he is HILARIOUS!  He was the mission presidente in Brazil and his mission was also in the jungle... very much like here! He told us lots of funny stories about how thin and tan all his missionaries got after two years in the jungle! So hopefully when I get home you guys don't think I've gotten thinner and tanner!  He's a convert to the church.  He joined when he was 16 but went inactive.  One day he decided to go to EFY (I don't know why because he was inactive, but he went!)  He met a girl there that treated him like a normal person (according to him) and when he went home from EFY, he found out that the same girl was in his ward! He started going to church again, and even went to seminary so he could hang out with her...anyways, that girl is now his wife! How crazy! Anyways,  he talked to us a lot about our responsibility to find out the needs of the people we teach. We did an awesome practice about how to find out needs by using the baptismal interview questions, and it really works! My companion and I were going to use it with some people, but then then next day I went to Iquitos hahahaha ...but this week were going to do it! It's going to be great!  And, to make up for missing Jhonny`s baptism, Hermana Gillingham and her companion had baptism this at least I could pretend I was there! So yeah, its been a CRAZY week! 

We were able to see our old pensionista.
She came to the church when we were at the conference in Tarapoto!

Love you all!!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 63

October 24, 2016

Hey everyone!!!

This week has been pretty great!  So what happened?  Lots of surprises because things in Peru always happen at the last minute!!  

Thursday at 1:30 PM my district leader called me and told me that I had to go to a meeting in Tarapoto that day at 2:30 PM.  He assured me that we would be coming back that night, so we went home, I grabbed my books and we went to the taxi place. I get there and SURPRISE the zone leaders tell me we´re actually spending the night... but there is no time now to go back for clothes.  We went over to Tarapoto and luckily that night Hermana Dickman lent me a toothbrush from her emergency kit, and I just rode home the next morning in the same clothes from the night before! hahahaha. It was quite stressful, but everything turned out alright. 

Then we had another surprise... Zone Conference on Saturday morning! We had appointments that day that we had to cancel because they told us Friday night! It's very fun living in Peru!

Zone Conference!

Good news- Jhonny passed his interview on Saturday so now we´re all set for his baptism this Saturday! We´re stoked to help him in this new step in his life.   :)  Yesterday,  we had District Conference (stake conference, but Moyobamba is full of only branches, not wards) and it was in Rioja! Basically, District Moyobamba is made of three cities- Moyobamba, Rioja, and Nueva Cajamarca. Rioja is in the middle, so whenever there are meetings, we go to Rioja. It's about thirty minutes in car from Moyobamba. We were a little worried about how that would affect the attendance of our investigators.. but Jhonny was super awesome and came to Rioja for church!  He even went to the Priesthood meeting that was two hours earlier! Yay!!

This week we had an AWESOME service! I'll send pictures... but basically it rained really hard a few weeks ago, and it made the wall fall down in the house of recent converts.  Their wall was made of hardened mud. So our service was to help them rebuild it! We went over, they had a pile of dirt, we brought water over from a little pond nearby, poured it on the dirt, stepped on it until it was mud, and then plastered it on the wooden sticks that made up their wall.  We got super dirty but it was probably the best service I´ve ever done! The other Hermanas in Moyobamba came over to help us too because it was a lot of work! 

Hermana Inca "dies" (which means she is going home) this transfer so
we are pretending to kill her in the pile of mud! :)

We're a little dirty!

It has been a great week and this week is going to be even better because Elder Godoy, the President of the area is going to come speak to us on Wednesday! We all get to go to Tarapoto and meet up with all the missionaries there to listen to Elder Godoy! We have to wake up at like 5 in the morning to get on time to Tarapoto, but it's going to be worth it!!!

Miss you all tons! Have a fun week preparing for Halloween!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 62

October 17, 2016

So this week was crazy!

We've been trying to teach Jhonny as often as possible this week because we thought he was going to get baptized this upcoming Saturday.  Then they announced that there will be a district conference (stake conference, but the church is small here so it's district conference) and so now Jhonny has to wait till NEXT Saturday, the 29th to get baptized.  It is actually better because now we have more time to really teach him! The poor thing though, he tells us he wants to get baptized and then we spent an entire week just teaching him commandments he has to live hahah! He is so good, he said he wasn't keeping all the commandments, but from now on he will! It's so awesome being able to see his conversion! 

In Peru, they eat a lot of Paneton (it is basically just cake) for Christmas.
They are selling tons of it right now in the stores
so it is getting us excited for Christmas

Our pensionista is going to Chiclayo for a month for her health.
We now have a new pensionista.  This is us saying good bye!

I was able to work with Hermana Inca again this week!  Blast to the past! I did a work visit with her (or just splits I think is what they say in English, I don't know) and so for twenty four hours I was working with her in her area. She really reminded me of the importance of focusing on the needs in the lessons! Sometimes I feel like I get too caught up in making sure we teach all the doctrine that I forget they have needs! It was a great reminder.

This week I ate ants again! but this time, toasted and, like everyone told me, it was better! But it´s something I don't want to eat again! hahaha

Also this week Jhonny had an interview with our district leader and so we show up to the church and SURPRISE! bug infestation! I took a picture, but you can't really tell in the picture. Basically, there were these little bugs ALL OVER THE FLOOR; WALLS AND CEILING! It was gross! and it was Saturday night, so if we didn't clean it up then, it would be a huge surprise for everyone the next day at church.  We took out some brooms from the cleaning closet and started stepping on bugs and sweeping!  We were there for like an hour cleaning out all the bugs!  It was horrible but we were laughing our heads off. We finally cleaned it all up and then realized that the bugs were following the light, so it would have been so much easier if we had just turned off all the lights! ... but it was a "fun" experience for all!

Bug infestation ... even though you can't really see them in the picture!

It's been a fun week! 

Love you and miss you all!

Hermana Gurney

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 61

October 10, 2016

So this week was cool! I went back to Iquitos! and the best part is... Hermana Dickman and Hermana Fink from the CCM are also Hermana leaders! so I was able to see them!

The Amazon River ... out the airplane window!

With the Hermanas that transferred to Iquitos from Tarapoto or Moyobamba!

When I was in Iquitos, I stayed the night with two sisters serving there.
One was from Chile and had fun showing me her Chilean money!

Hermana Dickman is now Hermana leader in Tarapoto, so I get to travel to and from Iquitos with her, and if we ever fly in late, I spend the night with her before taking the car to Moyobamba! I'm stoked!

With Hermana Dickman again!!

With Sister Fink!!

I felt left out because I didn't wear my matching dress!!

Hermana Fink is also now the companion of Hermana Velazquez... my two old companions are now together!! Crazyyyyy!!

So yeah, Iquitos was a great experience. I actually saw someone that I had met when I was serving in Iquitos a year ago.  He told me I talk like a Peruvian now! I sure hope he was being honest! haha  I learned a lot about the importance of doing practices!  If we´re not practicing our teaching, we´re not improving, and we´re not really letting ourselves be guided by the Spirit.

Also this week was transfers! Nothing happened!  Hermana Laura and I are staying together! We´ve seen lots of miracles this week! One has to do with our investigator named Jhonny.  I don't think I've ever talked about him before, but I should have cause he´s so cool!  So he has a friend that is a member in Nueva Cajamarca, it's a little city about 45 minutes from Moyobamba.  She invited him to church here in Moyo and he came!  Since that day, he has come every week, except for a few Sundays when his work didn't let him come.  He came last week and we forgot to tell him it was conference and started at 11. 

We can't really teach him that often because during the week he is literally never in Moyobamba.  He works as a taxi driver (the cars I take when I travel to Tarapoto... he is one of the drivers) so we usually only teach him Sundays. But last week on Monday,  he called us and said he was in Moyo!  So we invited him to FHE with an active family and it was awesome!  On Wednesday, when I was in Iquitos, he called my companion and told her he had been praying and felt like he should get baptized! So now he's going to get baptized the 22 of October!  We were a little worried about his testimony, because he kind of felt that all the churches were true, so we fasted about it, and on Sunday he said that everything he learned in church answered all his doubts, and now he´s convinced that the church is true! Awesome!! We were even able to have a nice FHE with an active member who also is a driver for the taxi companies, and they've become really good friends! 

Now we´ve just got to keep praying for Jhonny! We´ve got to finish his lessons, so hopefully he's in Moyo this week a lot to keep teaching him!

That's pretty much it for this week... 
I hope you're all well!!!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week...60! Wow!

October 3, 2016

So this week in Moyobamba is.... THE WEEK OF THE ANTS!  

Yeah, you heard that right!  So the last week of September and the first week of October is ant week... meaning that usually it rains and thunders a lot and so a bunch of GIANT ants come out of their homes in the ground.  And you know what the people here do with all these ants?  They toast them and eat them!

So this week I had the pleasure of eating ant but I didn't eat it toasted.   Everyone tells me that's why I didn't like it, because it wasn't toasted.  So I guess I have to try some again this week!  hahahaha   Hermana Laura filmed me eating them, but the filmography is awful, and the computer doesn't let me send videos but I'll show it to you guys some other day.

About to eat ANTS!!

A pan of ants they were getting ready to toast!

Hermana Laura also tried ant but didn't like it and spit it out.  I actually swallowed it! You should all be so proud of me! hahaha

So this week was also GENERAL CONFERENCE ... WHOOOOOOOO!!  It was great.   Because I know you're all going to ask- Saturday I watched it all in Spanish and on Sunday all in English.  I loved everything! 

There was one part where they were thanking all the missionaries for all their hard work and dedication for the work, and honestly I felt so unworthy of that praise. I just felt so guilty, like I shouldn't even be a missionary because I'm definitely not the missionary they were describing.  So I decided to pray and ask God if he was happy with my work as a missionary, and if he wasn't then to let me know what I needed to do to not feel so guilty.    This big shiver (not sure how to describe it) came over me and I felt like someone was hugging me tight.   I felt He was telling me He was happy with my work. So that was my favorite part of conference!  :)

I also really liked how much emphasis was put on repentance, because that's something we always need to work on! 

P-day walk to the Rio Mayo River!

Orland and Elsa came to conference all day Sunday! They're so cool!!! We got news that their divorce papers are coming the end of October, the 28th I think.   So the end of this month they should be getting married and then getting baptized!!

Esmerita and Juan Carlos are back from their trip, and are still awesome, but they didn't come to church! After promising they would! We´re going to try to visit them today to see how they're doing. 

Welcome to Moyobamba sign!

This is called a chicharra!  It comes out this time of year and makes
screaming noises ... it is driving us insane!

That's basically all!
Talk to you guys soon!!!
Hermana Gurney