Sunday, May 11, 2014

Semana 17 in Iquitos (May 5th, 2014)

Hello family and friends!
Hope you are all doing well, I miss all your pretty little faces!  Everything is great here in Iquitos and I hope that spring has finally sprung up there.  Honestly I don’t know what season is because you can ask whatever person what season it is and get a different answer every time. But it’s safe to say that seasons aren’t really a thing here.  We just finished our sixth week here in Iquitos and I can’t believe we’re already at changes again, the time flies so fast. But I won’t be going anywhere for a while which I’m totally fine with because I really like my area and my companion, Hermana Centeno.  This month of May we’re teaching some really awesome people, and it looks like we will be marrying and baptizing one or two families (one for sure). The other news is that our Zone Leaders just informed us that from now on, we will be taking care of the marriage process for all of our families. Before, they did all the papers for everyone in the zone, but it’s gotten to be a huge burden so now we get to do it! Which is fun but also a bit stressful because the process can get kind of complicated depending on the situation.  This Saturday, Sofia is getting baptized! She is beautiful inside and out and learning and living what she’s learning. I love seeing the fire of her developing testimony, it always inspires me and brings us so much joy, everytime we meet with her. She is going to be great. The other family is the famiy of Hermano Guido and his wife Betsi. We have been praying and fasting for them so much and doing service for them to help them with some struggles and we know that our prayers have been answered. Guido has made a 180 turn and is ready to come back to church, get married and help his wife and daughter prepare to be baptized. It really is a miracle his change of disposition and we owe it all to the lord. Yesterday they all came to church and it was the best. I love having families that we’re teaching in the chapel with us together.  This week I’ve been feeling a little insufficient and like I’m not completely living up to my potential. And more that the spirit is not always with me. Our leaders gave us a really awesome talk that talked about one missionary who had a similar experience, and asked a well known leader in the church what he should do.  The leader told him that what he lacked was the accompaniment of the spirit, and this is because the spirit only dwells in holy tabernacles. If we are doing things that drive away the spirit, of course we won’t be at our full potential.  What we have to do is purify ourselves. So he told the young man to go home, start fasting and praying for one day and make a list of all the things and all the thoughts that drive away the spirit. Whether it’s thinking too much about your life at home, speaking sarcastically to your companion, or sleeping in a few minutes longer than you should, put them all on the list and present it to the Lord. With this list of things he challenged him to do a 40 day fast. For forty days, completely abstain from each of these things on the list, and he promised that he would see miracles. They did this and it completely transformed their attitudes and not only that, it affected the people they taught. They taught with more power and authority with this companionship of the spirit. After reading this, I was totally inspired and ready to go because it was exactly what I needed. There are so many things that I do that prevent me from living up to my potential and having the spirit with me at all times. So my companion and I made our list and this beginning of the new 6 week change starts our 40 day fast from all of our little vices. Even the little things, the distracting thoughts, the negative words, all of it. This is a process of purification and we know that we will see miracles. It won’t be easy and we can’t do it on our own by any means. But every morning we will look at this list and pray for strength to withstand temptation. And every night we will report back to the Lord how we did, where we messed up and commit to be better the next day. I know that this is a Gospel of change and that if we don’t actually change and repent, this life and this time of probation with be worthless. I'm so grateful for the grace of Jesus Christ which allows us to be better, to be transformed into the best version of ourselves, and to be purified. Habits and behavior don’t change overnight and we gotta keep going, every day is a fight and that is one thing that I just love about this life. I wish you all the best and hope that you too can be inspired to purify yourselves and live up to the potential that our father in Heaven has in mind for you all. I love you sweet people. Peace out till next week!
Ps can’t wait to see those guapo faces this Sunday on skype!
Hermana Benyo

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