Monday, September 29, 2014

Semana 35 in Punchana (September 25th, 2014)

This week was interesting to say the least.
The bad news is that Monica and Badick were all set to be married and baptized and SO excited but their parents said that if they get married they will kick them out of the house and not support them at all. They don't have much so this was a great challenge for them. From the moment they accepted I told them that absolutely without a doubt something would come up that would try to stop them from keeping this commandment and being baptized. They have very strong desires to do so but in the end decided against being married because the price was too big to pay. It honestly hurts so bad that I cried, and it wasn't a discouraged was just so sad that as a missionary you can come to love these people so much and give your whole heart and soul to help them change and make covenants with God and they even come to know that it's true...receive such a strong undeniable witness and still decide that it's not worth it. That they are going to keep the commandments when it is convenient for them, when there isn't a price to pay. There is always a price to pay in order to be obedient but the blessings that will come will ALWAYS make up the difference and beyond. Always.
It was a week of stress with our investigators and also trying to help my companions and wednesday night the Zone leaders called me to tell me that I would fly into Lima the next day for visa stuff. It was somewhat of a relief to know that I would have a day or two to forget the disappointment and stress.
Thursday evening my companions dropped me off at the airport, it's at the opposite end of Iquitos so it's a solid 30-45 minutes in mototaxi just to get to the airport. From there we flew in to Lima and got there late.  The choffer group that transports missionaries picked us up and drove us to La Molina, the district of the CCM and the Temple, but Lima is ginormous so that was like another 45 minutes in car and finally we got to the hotel and they fed us Papa John's (you have no idea how amazing that is after 10 months in the jungle, sweet sweet american food). And then we finally got to bed a about 1:00. At 2:30 they woke us up to go back to the airport! So like zombies we piled in and at the airport they gave4 us our tickets...I assumed we would be going to Tumbes again and cross into Ecuador, but this time when I looked at our ticket it said Tacna....Tacna is at the South boarder of peru.....So I guess that means we're going to Chile this time right? So we got to was soooooooo cold and we piled into a van and crossed over into Chile. At the boarder we waited in line to leave peru and enter Chile. So that was fun we stayed in Chile for a sec and took some photos and crossed right back on over to Peru. ahah but it counts right? Then we piled back in the van, drove back to Tacna and flew into Lima. Drove back to La Molina and oh yeah, at this point it was 7 pm we were running on and hour of sleep and they hadn't given us anything to eat all day. They took us to KFC (again YUM)  and we begged them to take us to the temple but they told us that we wouldn't be able to go.  Five minutes later they got a phone call and someone from the area gave them orders to take us to the temple!!! Woohoo we almost died of happiness! So we went into the temple so so happy and did a session and although we were like zombies it was honestly so awesome and rest for my soul.  I love the temple.  
We left happy and went straight to the hotel. And this is the part where the trip went south. Mom, please brace yourself.  I looked in my bag and my passport was not there. Immediate panic overtook me completely.  I searched my things 8,000 times. Nothing. The last moment I remembered having it in my hand was on the plane from Tacna to Lima and I was so sure I had left it on the plane but I was so deliriously tired and hungry that my brain broke a little bit.  So I basically cried and searched and cried and called the airport all night. Got put on hold a lot, no one wanted to help me because the airline offices were closed. One of the zone leaders that was there had his phone so we called the Mission secretary and that's when they told me about an elder who lost his passport in Lima and got stranded in Lima for SIX MONTHS. Thats when the waterworks really started. He had to change missions until he got his new passport because you can't fly without it and Iquitos is only accessible by air.   Seriously and our flight left that morning and we would heve to leave for the airport at 2 am.  Once again we did not sleep and I was panicking SO HARD. I CANT STAY IN LIMA FOREVER ITS SOOOOOOO COLD AND THE SKY IS ALWAYS GRAY WITH POLLUTION PLEASE NOOOOOOO. I prayed soooo hard that I would be able to make it safely back to the jungle and decided to put it in the hands of the Lord. That morning we went down with all our stuff and the Choffer from the area told me that I wouldn't be able to travel and to go back upstairs to sleep more. I cried some more and went back to bed, ALONE. It was soooo weird being alone in a hotel room for a bit as I haven't been alone since I started my mission. It was gross and weird.
At ten they picked me up to take me to look for my passport in the airport but they weren't much help so the area offices just had me go to do some papers to invalidate my passport and fill out some papers to get a new one. After that they told me I would be stuck in Lima for an undetermined amount of time and sent me off to stay in the Lima North Mission. I stayed there with some Hermana's that were really cool. About a year ago Iquitos was part of the Lima north mission and so we had a lot in common because the two missions are really similar. Many of the missionaries in Iquitos started their missions in Lima North so now I can say that I too was a Norteña :) While I was there I was just praying that God would let me go to sleep that night in Iquitos, not in Lima. I felt impressed to check the pockets of my missionary handbook and there I miraculously found my expired drivers license from when I was like 16....I don't even remember putting that there but it was the only form of ID I had and sufficient to be able to board a domestic flight!!! That night I got to fly into Iquitos and completely kissed the ground when I got back. Ahhhhh I almost froze to death in Lima and missed my blue skies and green and weekly rainbows. Not to mention the people, total cuties I love them.  I got back late and President and Hermana Gomez picked me up from the airport and my prayer got answered, I finished they day, went to bed in Iquitos--with a hot shower and a comfy bed in the mission home.
It truly made me realize that my heart is 100% in Iquitos. I cannot express how grateful I am for the Lord looking out for me, even when I'm dumb and lose my passport.
Hermana Benyo
ps mom I know what you're thinking, please don't panic my new passport is already being processed and taken care of 

1. Crossing the boarder into Chile!
2. Crossing the boarder into Chile!
3.  In the middle of the Chilean desert
4. So great to be back in Peru again...
5. The temple Lima, Peru!
6. Was a Lima Norte missionary for one day!! Greatful that it only lasted one day.....

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