Monday, December 26, 2016

Week ... 72? I think? I lost count!

December 26, 2016


So this week preparing for Christmas has been very action packed!

First,  my companion went home on Thursday leaving me WITHOUT a companion for a few days! Thankfully, Hermana Lazarte´s companion also went home, so we´ve been two lone wolves out here in Moyo.  It's been a little hard trying to work a lot in both areas, but we´re doing well.  Hopefully, our new companions come soon! :) 

My companion finished her mission!

FHE with Noemi and Richard and another family!

Next... on Friday night we had an activity in the chapel.. it was a chocolatada! (in case you missed my last email that's what everyone does here for Christmas, they eat paneton and hot chocolate and call it a chocolatada).  Noemi called me a few hours before and said that she wouldn't be going to the activity because she's has a fever, but that Richard would come... but it turns out that they both came! Even though they were sick ... they still came! and they really enjoyed it!  They loving coming to church activities, how great is that?

Then, Saturday was CRAZY BUSY!  We went with Orlando and Elsa to the town municipalidad (Mom, I know you told me the word for that yesterday but I forgot) and dropped off all their marriage papers! It's all set... this Friday at 2:00 PM we will be having a wedding in the chapel! We´re super excited :)  After getting back, we went out to work for a little bit and then went over to our pensionista´s house for dinner!  I actually have two pensionistas, one gives us breakfast and lunch and the other gives us dinner. the one who gives us dinner lives in the other branch but they bring us dinner everyday to our apartment.  Due to the fact that Saturday was Christmas Eve, we got permission to go over to her house to eat! and let me tell you.. she is one of the best cooks!  She made pasta salad! Do you know how much I have missed pasta salad?  That stuff doesn't exist here in Peru, but for some reason my pensionista knows how to make it!  It was the best Christmas gift I could have asked for! hahaha. 

Chocolatada with all the missionaries in Moyobama!

Our pensionista, Elizabeth!  She is from the Dominican Republic (cool right?) and is hilarious!!

After eating... we went out to Rioja! (It's a neighboring city.  There is another branch out there.)  We went to the town square and sang Christmas hymns and contacted the people listening to us!  It was a very spiritual experience, you could really feel the Christmas spirit.  I don't have pictures though, just a video which is too big to send in an email. Sorry!!!

In Rioja ... where we have our district meetings!

Then, of course, Sunday I got to talk to you all! It was actually quite the experience... we had two laptops that we borrowed from members and when we went over to a member´s house to use his wifi.  We were only going to bring one laptop, but Hermana Lazarte told me that she felt we should bring the other laptop, just in we did! and it was a good thing too, because the first laptop we were going to bring, didn't have a camera!! We were super blessed that the Spirit guided us in bringing the other laptop with a camera!  :) 

With Analis ... and a cool caterpillar thing in her backyard!

Jhonny driving us home from church.  He works for a taxi company!

Anyways,  I love you all!
Have a super de duper week!
Talk to you next YEAR
Hermana G


Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 71

December 19, 2016

So this week was very.. Christmas-y!

We had a Christmas Zone Conference this week with Presidente and Hermana Li and the assistants.  It was super fun!  We learned a lot about our purpose as a missionary to find, teach, and baptize.  Afterwards, we had a Christmas dinner and watched a slideshow of pictures of Presidente`s family.

With Presidente and Hermana Li!

All the Hermanas in the Moyobama Zone!

... And dessert was the Peru classic... Paneton and Hot Chocolate.   Paneton is a like a cake thing, I don't really know how to describe it... hahaha!   I didn't like it at first but now I do. Paneton only comes out at Christmas time because that's the favorite dessert for Christmas down here.  I'm going to try to bring some home so you can try it :) 

This week... ORLANDO`S DIVORCE PAPERS FINALLY CAME IN!!! after MONTHS of waiting... they finally came in!  We`re so happy! Next Friday, they're going to get married and then next Saturday, Elsa will get baptized! We`re super stoked!

Noemi and Richard accepted marriage and we`re going to work on that this week!  We were actually super worried because Richard`s dad came to visit and we thought he might be opposed to the whole idea of baptism and marriage .. but actually he`s totally for it!  His dad`s name is Ricardo and he was actually receiving the missionaries in Chiclayo.  He came to church with is son yesterday! He`s going to stay here in Moyo for a time and so now we have one more investigator in our teaching pool! 

This week.. my companion is going to end her mission! On Thursday, she goes to Iquitos and on Monday she flies home! It's gonna be weird working over here in Moyobamba without her... she knows so much about the members (she served here for seven months).   I don't know what I'm going to do without her expertise! One of the other Hermanas in this zone is also going home so I'm going to be with Hermana Lazarte this week... (their apartment has HOT water!!!)  When I call on Christmas you' ll get to meet her! She's super cute... she just started her mission this transfer and I'm stoked to get to know her more!!

With my companion

With Hermana Arteaga

With Hermana Lazarte ... she will be my companion for a week!!

Love you!!  Merry Christmas!!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 70

December 12, 2016

Hello everyone!!  How is December going??  We´re almost halfway through, how crazy is that!!

The month of December is known in Peru as the rainy month. I thought they were joking cause they always tell me it's going to rain a lot this month, but this time they were serious! It has rained literally EVERYDAY this week.. and hard! It has made all the roads super muddy and I have to go out proselyting in my rain boots... which now have holes in them ... so they don't really keep my feet that dry! I'm going to take them to a shoe repairman this week maybe.   (She told me that she has been just filling the holes with superglue and that will keep the water out for a little while!)  Anyways, due to the rain, no one can leave their house (I don't really understand why but it's like an unspoken rule here) so that means more people are in their homes! but also less members that can accompany us! It's been a little difficult.  The good thing is, when it rains, it gets cold! like super cold! I've actually been sleeping with a blanket every night! I think the Lord sent me here in this time to start preparing myself for the freezing cold at home in February! hahaha

This is a cool place in our area called Las Palmeras!  It's so pretty!

So the other day we didn't have any appointments in the afternoon, and we went looking for a few people, but no one was home... so we started knocking on doors.  For about an hour we were knocking on doors and either no one answered, or no one wanted to listen to us.  I was getting a little discouraged, and I almost wanted to give up, but my companion suggested we enter a street that we´ve never gone on before. So we did. We started knocking on doors and a few people told us to come back another day... until we got to one door.  We were going to actually walk past it but I guess it was the Spirit, and I just suggested that we knock on that door. We knock and an old lady answered and she told us to come in! We were a little shocked, because that's not the reaction we usually get hahaha.  She told us to sit down and (wow that felt so good to sit down after walking for so long) and she told us she is a member of the church! She hasn't gone in years because she was sick and couldn't go.   Now she feels better and is super excited to start coming with us again! I know the Lord really leads us to the people He wants us to find!

Noemi and Richard are doing SUPER well. I actually almost cried in our last lesson with them because they told us about all the changes they've made in their lives and how happy they feel! Richard used to drink A TON, and this past week they went to a party where everyone was drinking and Richard said he felt bored... the first time in his life that he was BORED in a party with alcohol.. so he and Noemi left! They said they didn't feel well there.  How cool is that? Noemi said they get so excited Saturday Nights because they get to go to church the next day! They´re a little hesistant about getting married though, but I can see them warming up to the idea. This week were going to teach them with a family that recently got married and baptized to help support them with this decision.

With Noemi and Richard at church!  Such a cute family!

Orlando and Elsa are still waiting for the papers... We don't really know how else to help them except wait! I feel like we should do more but we can't!

Orlando's daughter, Angie, decided to "drive" us home!

Hope you guys are all getting ready for Christmas! I know I am!! Everyone is putting up their Christmas trees and it's putting us all in the fun Christmas spirit.
Hope you all remember to take a few minutes in this Christmas season and remember the birth of Jesus Christ! I know he really is our Savior and without him, we could not return to live with our families!

Love you all!
Hermana Gurney

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 69

December 5, 2016

So this week has been great!

All the Hermana Leaders in Iquitos!

Remember Noemi and Richard? They came to a church activity on Friday night, to church on Sunday (even though they came late :( ) and to the Christmas devotional last night!  The branch is doing such a good job of being their friend and inviting them to literally every activity!  They were going to go to a class about how to strengthen your marriage yesterday in the afternoon, but noemi was feeling sick, so they couldn´t go.  They told us they are thinking about baptism and marriage!  We have a family home evening there tonight with our branch mission leader and hopefully this will really help them progress!

Our Branch President has been really good about inviting people to church, and this week he brought a really cool family with him to church who live in our area!  They´re a young couple and have a little baby and are excited to start listening to our message!  We`re going to go try to find their house today! 

Oh yeah, this week I also got to go to Iquitos!  This time it was only for two days, not a whole week (thankfully!) but it was a great trip!

A cool Peru hat!!

Companions Reunited!!
Lunch after leadership council in Iquitos!

Heading back to the airport in President's car!

These seeds are super cool!  They put them on bracelets everywhere and I
finally found the plant.  Huayruru.. at least I think that is what it is called!

 At our training, we talked a lot about the importance of talking with EVERYONE.  It`s been a little bit of a problem with the mission, that we don't contact many people!  But it was a really good advice that was given- "if we want to baptize people, we need to talk to lots of people, but if we want to baptize few people, we need to talk to few people".  It really hit me, because I haven´t been contacting as much as I should, so this week our goal has been talk to as many people as we can! and it really helps!  We were able to contact into this 18 year old student who has recently moved here to Moyobamba and told us she wants to start going to church again. She said she has gone to tons of churches, but she never felt like she should stay there. She told us she would make time next Sunday to go to church and she hopes she will feel it's right!  She reminds me a little of Joseph Smith and his desires! Her name is Mercedes and we`re super excited to keep working with her this week.

Anyways, that's kinda been my week! I can´t remember if anything else interesting or funny happened! I forgot to bring my journal to internet today so I can't even look through this week to see what happened haha. 

Next week there will be more, I promise :)
Love you all! Happy December!!
Hermana Gurney