Saturday, April 19, 2014

Semana 14 in Iquitos (April 14th, 2014)

This week in Iquitos.....
I'm really happy and excited right now and I don't really know why but everything is great, is all I can say!. Not going to lie this week was a big ball of stress at times and at other times was so fun and so spiritual I can't even explain it.  Our area is seriously the best I could serve the rest of my mission here and be completly content.
Hermana Centeno and I are continuing finding new investigators and families to teach left and right, working till we drop and I'm honestly so content that way.  We are proud to announce that our family, The Torres Amias family is getting married and all five of them, plus their granddaughter and getting baptized later that day! They are the best and I love their testimonies and obedience. They also have the cutest kids, my companion and I love em so much! 
We found a new family this week that was a street contact! They live in a part of Iquitos super close to where I am called the Belén district.  There all the houses are wooden and built on stilts or on floating platforms on the banks of the river so that every 'winter' when the Amazon water level gets really high, everything floods up. The houses on platforms float up and the houses on stilts are usually ok. It's the area of our district leader and his whole area is pretty buch wooden platform bridgey things built over the water and right now the water is super high so a lot of the houses are inaccessible without a boat.  So we ran into this family walking down the street exactly as they were looking at a house to rent in our area because their house got flooded over and turned into a pool. When we contacted them, the husband, Guido said that he was a member of the church many years back when he lived in another part of Peru but had gone through some tough times and left it all behind.  He and his wife Betsi were super friendly and we went to visit them last night after they had just moved in. They are such great parents and it is so easy to see that they just want the best for their family. We testified of the atonement and how we can become cleansed and start anew. We invited him to come back to church here in Iquitos, to forget the past, and we invited Betsi to be baptized and she accepted. We have a really good feeling about this family and excited to see how they progress.
Also, Viviana who came to conference last week accepted a date to be baptized on the 26th and she has been praying and gaining a strong testimony. This week she wasn't able to come to church because her sons who live with her uncle in a nearby pueblo were sick. But we have faith in her and she is just a really genuinely good person and daughter of God.
That is one thing I love so much about the people of Peru. Everyone here has so much faith. They all know who they are, that they are sons and daughters of God, they may not have the fulness of the Gospel but they have such a great sense of divine identity and more or less their purpose in life, something that is so special to me about this part of the world.
Also getting baptized on the 26th is an 8 year old named Angel. He is the sweetest, and his parents are not members but they literally come to church every sunday. It maked me sad because his mom, Luz, wants to get baptized so badly, but she has had some complications that prevent her from marrying with the father of Angel. But they are an awesome family with GREAT testimonies.
So honestly our area is great, it has so much potential and Hermana Centeno and I are truly starting to see miracles here. We also had some way fun times this week. So when it rains here, it rains HARDDD. Harder rain than I've ever seen in my life. So we were out visiting people with a member when it started raining so hard that with the tin roofs we literally couldnt hear anything and had to stop the lesson there. We then walked home in the rain and we only had one umbrella so  I gave it to Hermana Centeno and the member and braved the rain. I got completely drenched but it was actually so fun. Then after it rains, our area is almost completely mud. Mud mud mud, up to our knees. My boots get quite the use. And on sunday, we were  picking up an investigator family to church when we came to a little stream. There was a little 6 year old girl that I was helping cross the stream when boom i slipped and stepped in the mud and literally my foot went in knee deep and my shoe completely disappeared. I had to dig in up to my elbow to get it and I was completely filthy but a nice neighbor brought me a bucket of water, and we were late to church but hey, it was funny.
Also this week there was a gian power outage which was an adventure in itself. It was like that one power outage in Appleton for three day except in Perú. So that was fun.
I love Hermana Centeno, we are always laughing and smiling and working, couldn't ask for much more. I've learned so much to have faith, work hard, and be happy. Because literally stressing does not help AT ALL. IT DOES NOTHING. And I feel like I'm finally learning that, because when I let go of all the negative 'What if's' and 'how are we gonna's and just be happy and work with trust in the Lord, that's when the amazing and great things come our way.
This week We went to this place called Quistacocha where the missionaries go all the time. It's basically like a zoo with all the Amazon animals and then in the middle of it is a lake with beach surrounded by jungle. It was pretty fun and I got to hold a snake. And I'm pleased to announce that I ate my first SURI! And I'm not referring to Tom Cruise's daughter, but a gigantic larvae that lives in rotten Aguaje trees in the jungle. It's delicacy here in Iquitos, and want to know the best part, they are eaten LIVE. It's basically like Pumba in the Lion King.  It's so terrible though you have to first eat it while it's squirming all around, bite its head off to kill it in your mouth, then chew the body and then the head. I wouldn't recommend it. It has the flavor of radishes but the terrible part is that it is such a mouthful, the body exteriour is so rough with gooey guts in the middle and then you throw in the head to top it off and it's crunchy like popcorn. Bon Apetite! No it's awful and I can't believe I ate it, my gag reflexes went nuts, but I did it and now I'm an official Iquiteño. I have a video but I can't figure out how to email it. So that was a little bit of my adventures for this week, hope you all have a great week until next time!!

Hermana Benyo

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